Texas Lutheran visits top-ranked UMHB Saturday


Top-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Crusaders (2-0, 1-0) seek their 18th straight victory and third to start the new season as they welcome Texas Lutheran (1-0, 1-1) to Crusader Stadium this Saturday evening.

Lutheran rushed for more than 300 yards and shut out Belhaven at home last week in a 37-0 blowout, with the Bulldogs recording their first shutout victory since 2008.

This week, the road trip will be a much bigger challenge for Lutheran. The defending national champion Crusaders have allowed just 10 points all season, defeating Sul Ross 23-7 in the season opener before downing previously sixth-ranked Linfield last week.

Both the Crusaders and the Bulldogs lean heavily on the running game. UMHB rolled up 118 first-half rushing yards last week. UMHB quarterback T.J. Josey is a dual threat, fully capable of making plays with his legs.

Junior running back Markeith Miller has been as steady as they come on the ground. The Garland native has yet to record a touchdown on the season, but came within just a few yards of reaching the 100 mark in each of his first two outings in 2017.

The Bulldogs tallied 311 rushing yards in last week’s win over Belhaven, with senior running back Jordan Braden contributing 126. Quarterback Kyle Grona chipped in 90 yards on the ground.

If the Bulldogs hope to be effective offensively at Crusader Stadium and give themselves a chance to knock off the defending champions, they will need to produce another strong rushing attack while keeping a stingy UMHB defense honest by stretching the field through the air.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.