BELTON – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team overcame an early deficit with 28 straight points and then the Cru held off a late Louisiana College comeback in a 45-34 victory over the Wildcats Saturday afternoon in Belton. UMHB improves to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops Louisiana College to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the ASC on the year.
LC built a 10-0 lead on Adan Olivares’ 25-yard field goal and Easton Melancon’s 69-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Montague. UMHB would answer with Zach Anderson’s 66-yard scoring strike to Marcus Wimby and Anderson’s nine-yard TD run to take a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Cody Jones intercepted a pass and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter and Elijah Hudson added a four-yard scoring run to give the Cru a 28-10 edge. Melancon hit Montague with a 34-yard TD pass with 4:36 left in the half to cut it to 28-17 at the break.
Olivares added a 44-yard field goal early in the third quarter to cut it to 28-20. Hudson would score on a 10-yard run, but Melancon found Kyle Galyon with a 23-yard touchdown toss and Galyon made a spectacular one-handed grab to make it 35-27 UMHB. Drew Owen’s 38-yard field goal gave the Cru a 38-27 lead and Anderson hit Eric Nelson with a 37-yard scoring strike to stretch it to 45-27. Melancon closed out the scoring with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jake Dunbar with 6:05 remaining.
Anderson finished 22-31 passing for UMHB and he set a new school record with 359 passing yards, breaking the previous mark of 333 set by LiDarral Bailey against Sul Ross State last season. Wimby caught five passes for 109 yards and a TD and Hudson finished with 20 rushes for 84 yards and two scores. Brodrick Crain led the UMHB defense with 13 tackles and Deshon Kinsey added 12 more.
Melancon was 28-62 for 419 yards and four touchdowns for the Wildcats. Montague ran for 104 yards on 23 carries and added five catches for 135 yards and two scores. Galyon caught ten passes for 93 yards and Ladarius Gardner added five grabs for 111 yards. Shaq Lewis and Dominic Graham led the LC defense with seven tackles apiece.
The Cru rolled up 540 yards of total offense with a school-record 359 of those coming through the air. UMHB turned the ball over four times and was penalized nine times for 99 yards. Louisiana College recorded 409 passing yards and 476 yards of total offense. The Wildcats finished with two turnovers and four penalties for 45 yards.
UMHB stretched its regular season winning streak to 40 straight victories. The Cru has also won 28 straight ASC contests and 61 of its last 62 league games.
UMHB will return to action with its first road game in a month next Saturday. The Cru will travel to Abilene to face Hardin-Simmons University for a 1:00 PM kickoff. UMHB leads the all-time series between the two teams 13-5.