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Mary Hardin-Baylor beats Mount Union in the Stagg Bowl and wins a 2nd Division III title in 3 years

The Cru won a heavyweight fight at the Stagg Bowl.

Mary Hardin-Baylor won the Stagg Bowl against Mount Union on Friday, 24-16, to take Division III’s national title for 2018. Playing in Shenandoah, Texas, the Crusaders came out atop a surprisingly low-scoring game between the two highest-scoring teams in DIII.

It’s UMHB’s second national title in three years. In getting it, the Cru denied Mount Union its 14th title in 26 years; the Purple Raiders have been the level’s most dominant program.

Mount Union led for most of the first half, before the Cru took a lead right before the break. They widened the gap slightly in the second half, and UMU went backward on what could’ve been a game-tying drive in the final minute. The last play was a failed attempt at a lateral miracle, culminating in a forward pass that fell to the ground.

Below: a chronology of the whole game.

Fourth quarter

UMHB 24, UMU 16, 39 seconds left

What a perplexing, terrible series by Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Cru could’ve ended the game with a first down, but in addition to not getting that, they threw an incompletion on second down and lost 8 yards on third down. Mount Union has a timeout and the ball with enough time to tie the game, starting at the UMHB 49-yard line.

UMHB 24, UMU 16, 1:06 left

Mount Union left three timeouts in its pocket and tried a fade for a touchdown on fourth-and-4 from the UMHB 16. Justin Hill stopped his route a bit short, and it fell incomplete. A UMHB first down now wins the title.

UMHB 24, UMU 16, 1:30 left

Mount Union’s in the red zone. This is the moment, right here.

UMHB 24, UMU 16, 3:54 left

Wow. Mary Hardin-Baylor failed on a fake punt, and Mount Union has it at the Cru’s 41.

Why not just run a regular play?

UMHB 24, UMU 16, 7:06 left

The Purple Raiders put together a nice, quick drive down to the Cru 4-yard line. But it stalled there, and they opted for a field goal to make it a one-score game instead of trying for the touchdown. I don’t like it. Any UMHB points on this next drive probably end the game, and asking a stop, a touchdown, and two-point conversion is a lot.

UMHB 24, UMU 13, 9:46 left

The Purple Raiders are in trouble.

UMHB 17, UMU 13

A huge third-and-10 conversion for UMHB: Jase Hammack rolled out and found Jonel Reed for 12 yards up to the Mount Union 43. The Cru are driving for insurance points.

End of the third quarter: Mary Hardin-Baylor 17, Mount Union 13

Mount Union punted for a touchback as the quarter expired. The Cru are 15 minutes from the title, and they’ll have the ball at their own 25 with a 4-point lead.

UMHB 17, UMU 13

UMHB 14, UMU 13

The Cru trailed for most of the first half before getting a late touchdown. They deferred after winning the coin toss, so they have the ball now to start the second half, with a 1-point lead. And they’re across midfield thanks to a personal foul against the Purple Raiders on the first play of the drive. This is a great opportunity for Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Halftime: Mary Hardin-Baylor 14, Mount Union 13

UMHB 14, UMU 13

UMU 13, UMHB 7

Mount Union just had a 54-yard field goal blocked. Good field position coming for UMHB.

UMU 13, UMHB 7

The Mary Hardin-Baylor defense came up with a big stop when Mount Union could’ve taken a 13-point lead. The Cru have the ball back (though they’re hemmed in pretty deep) after forcing a punt. Six minutes left in the half.

UMU 13, UMHB 7

The Cru went three-and-out after giving up a field goal, and now Mount Union has good field position (its own 37) and a chance to take its biggest lead of the night.

UMU 13, UMHB 7

End first quarter: Mount Union 10, Mary Hardin-Baylor 7

The Purple Raiders scored the first 10, but the Cru got themselves back into things with a quick touchdown near the end of the quarter. Mount Union’s driving again, though, after a 23-yard run on a fourth-and-9 fake punt pushed it across midfield.

UMU 10, UMHB 7

Touchdown, Crusaders. Jase Hammack threw a fade down the left sideline to a single-covered T.J. Josey, who tracked the ball and scored a 36-yard TD.

UMU 10, UMHB 0

Important update:

It really should be a universal thing.

Meanwhile, UMHB’s Jase Hammack just found K.J. Miller for 28 yards to the Mount Union 33.

UMU 10, UMHB 0

Touchdown, Purple Raiders. Quarterback D’Angelo Fulford scored on an option keeper from a yard out, capping a 23-yard drive after a Cru turnover.


Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Jase Hammack just fumbled the ball away to Mount Union, which now gets to start inside the Cru’s 25. Can’t have that!


The Purple Raiders lead after a 41-yard field goal by Cory Barnett. It’s been a reasonably slow start for the two highest-scoring offenses in DIII (Mary Hardin-Baylor at 55.5 points per game, Mount Union at 51.1), and the only difference so far is that UMHB missed its field goal and UMU made its own. You’d think the offense would pick up a bit.

6:10 left in the first quarter.


UMHB’s Anthony Avila missed a 37-yard field goal. The Cru took over at Mount Union’s 43 after a bad punt and didn’t get anything out of it.


A hell of a good start for UMHB. The Cru forced a three-and-out, and Mount Union’s ensuing punt went nowhere.


Mary Hardin-Baylor won the coin toss and deferred. Mount Union starts at its own 25.