Bearcats Lose to No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor, 45-24

SALEM, OR The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor rolled up 38 first-half points, handing the Willamette University Bearcats their second straight defeat, 45-24, in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon at McCulloch Stadium. It was the season-opener for the Crusaders, who came into the game as the No. 2 ranked team in the country
and they showed why right from the start.

Cameron Walton, Quentin Brock and Kevin Dean all scored TDs for the Bearcats. But that wasnt near enough to overcome 500 yards of total offense and 348 yards rushing that the Crusaders rolled.

P.J. Williams had a pair of long TD catches in the first half and the trio of Jarvis Thrasher, Justin Bryson and Freddie Rollins rolled up 285 yards rushing and four touchdowns to pace the Crusaders.

On UMHBs first possession, Crusader quarterback Josh Welch found wide receiver P.J. Williams on a 54 yard scoring play. On UMHBs last possession of the first quarter, Zach Newcomb kicked a 47-yard field goal that hit the cross bar and bounced through the uprights.

Jarvis Thrasher made it 17-0 with a 55-yard touchdown run just two minutes into the second quarter. Williams struck again for a 24-0 lead, hauling in a 64-yard TD pass, this time from Andy Padron.

Matt Bicocca got the Bearcats on the board mid-way through the second quarter with a 33-yard field goal before Cameron Walton scored the Bearcats first TD of the season on an 8-yard run with 5:24 to play in the half.

But UMHB came right back on a Thrasher 21-yard run and Justin Brysons 8-yard rush.

The Bearcats made it 38-17 early in the second half thanks to an untimely personal foul on UMHB that gave the Bearcats a first down at their own 10-yard line. The Bearcats took advantage when Walton busted loose on a 43-yard run to the Crusader three-yard line. Kevin Dean took it in on the next play.

The Crusaders scored their final points on another long run, this time by Freddie Rollins for 44 yards and a 45-17 UMHB lead.

The Bearcats final score came on a 13-play, 72-yard drive culminating in Brocks 2-yard TD burst. The big play in that drive was a fourth down pass from Walton to Michael Plank, good for 22 yards and a first down.

For the game, the Crusaders had a big statistical edge, out gaining the Bearcats 500-356 in total yards, 348-282 in rushing yards and 152-74 passing yards.

Josh Barker had a huge game for the Bearcats, intercepting two passes, breaking up several more passes and recording four tackles. Devin ORourke had 11 tackles for Willamette while Phillip Sweet and Megdy Khoury each had ten.

For the Crusaders, Josh Kubiak had 11 stops and Stephen Morton added 10.

Brock led the Bearcat rushing attack with 125 yards on 23 carries. Walton gained 117 yards on 22 carries and was 4-8 passing for 48 yards.

Willamette continues on with its brutal schedule, heading to California next week to play NAIA powerhouse Azusa Pacific. UMHB returns home to host Trinity Lutheran.