The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will play in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth straight year and 12th time overall when the Cru plays host to Saint John’s (MN) for a noon kickoff this Saturday at Crusader Stadium.
UMHB is 12-0 on the season and qualified for the postseason as champions of the American Southwest Conference. The Cru advanced to the Quarterfinals with a 75-9 victory over Berry College last Saturday as UMHB improved to 38-15 all-time in the NCAA Division III National Championships. The Cru also finished the regular season ranked second in the country in both of the major Division III National Polls.
Saint John’s is also 12-0 on the year and the Johnnies won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title for the 33rd time in program history. Saint John’s has won a pair of Division III National Championships and is in the Division III playoffs for the 25th time in program history. The Johnnies are have the third highest scoring offense in the country and entered the postseason ranked 3rd in the nation by D3football.com and 5th in the country by the American Football Coaches Association. Saint John’s moved on with a 45-24 win over Whitworth University last Saturday.
“Our players understand that Saint John’s is one of the blue bloods of Division III football and know about their tradition,” Cru Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said. “They quarterback and skill guys are very good and they are a very explosive team. Defensively they jump around a lot and present a huge challenge for us. It goes back to what we’ve said all season. We have to get better as players and coaches each week. We are excited to have won last week and still be playing, but our guys also know what the expectations and goals are for our program. We have to keep improving if we are going to make those goals a reality.”
This will be the first meeting between the Cru and the Johnnies. UMHB’s only previous matchup with a team from the MIAC came in last year’s Quarterfinals. The Cru beat St. Thomas 24-10 in that game.
For more information on parking, traffic flow and game day events, please visit the following link: http://www.umhb.edu/stadium/directions-and-parking. Saint John’s fans are encouraged to enter the stadium through ticket window #3 at the southeast corner of Crusader Stadium. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to face the Wisconsin-Whitewater/Bethel University winner in the Semifinals.
Saturday’s game will also be broadcast live on KRock101.7 FM and through the station’s web site with the pre-game show starting at 11:30 AM. UMHB will provide live video streaming and live statistics for the game with links to both available by clicking here:www.cruathletics.com. Tickets are still available and the ticket windows are scheduled to open at 10:00 AM on Saturday. Reserved tickets are $12 at the gate, general admission tickets are $10 and student tickets will be $4 at the gate. The stadium gates will open at 10:30 AM on Saturday. Tickets left at Will Call will be available for pickup at any ticket window on game day.