Courtesy of Mary Hardin-Baylor Athletics
PINEVILLE, La. - The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team overcame a 10-point deficit to take the lead and Bronson Shaw's interception in the end zone preserved the victory as the 4th-ranked Cru held on for a 42-38 victory over Louisiana College Saturday in Pineville. UMHB improves to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Wildcats to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the ASC on the year.
Louisiana College took the lead on the Wildcats opening possession when Ben McLaughlin hit Darnell Williams with a 53-yard scoring strike to make it 7-0 just 2:18 into the game. The Cru would tie the game on Kyle Noackâ€™s 11-yard TD toss to Damian Davis with 5:14 left in the first quarter. It would stay that way into the second quarter after the Cru missed a field goal try. LC would open up a 17-7 lead on John Michiels 19-yard field goal and McLaughlin's 41-yard scoring strike to Jordan Rideaux with 10:48 left in the first half. Darius Wilson would cut it to 17-14 with a one-yard scoring run with 6:00 left in the second quarter. UMHB would grab the lead when LiDarral Bailey hit Davis with a school-record, 91-yard touchdown pass where Davis went over three Wildcats to pull down the ball. Davis then outran the defense to make it 21-17. The Wildcats reclaimed the lead when McLaughlin threw a three-yard TD pass to Rideaux with 53 seconds left in the first half. The Cru blocked the extra point and LC would hold a 23-21 edge at the break.
UMHB would take another lead, this time at 28-23 when Bailey scored on a one-yard run. LC struck back on McLaughlinâ€™s 41-yard pass to Williams with 1:36 left in the third. Lightning stuck for the Cru when Geoff Myles returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a score to put UMHB on top 35-31. McLaughlin hit Williams again, this time with a 25-yard scoring pass on a fourth down to put the Wildcats up 38-35 with 6:19 to play. UMHB once again responded, this time with a nine-play, 76-yard drive, capped by Baileyâ€™s five-yard run to give the Cru a 42-38 lead with 2:47 to play. The Wildcats would drive the length of the field before the Cru defense stiffened and Shaw picked off McLaughlinâ€™s fourth down pass in the end zone to preserve the victory with 42 seconds remaining.
Bailey finished the game 8-13 passing for a career-high 183 yards and a TD. He ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Stephen Salinas added 82 rushing yards and Wilson had 60. Davis finished with 143 receiving yards on five catches. Javicz Jones led the UMHB defense with 11 total tackles and Rocky Vaclavick added 10 stops.
McLaughlin was 30-49 passing for 368 yards and five scores. Rideaux caught 12 balls for 137 yards and two scores and Williams finished with six catches for 130 yards and three scores. Taylor Cottano finished with 14 tackles and Nate Janzen added 12 tackles for the Wildcats.
The Cru finished with 501 yards of total offense with 257 of those coming on the ground. LC rolled up 481 yards of total offense and went to the air for 368 of those.
UMHB will now return home to host Mississippi College for a 1:00 PM kickoff next Saturday at Tiger Field. The Choctaws had the week off and bring a 2-2 overall record and an 0-2 ASC mark into that game.