BELTON — Mary Hardin-Baylor football has reached a new level. For the No. 2 team in the nation, wins highlighted by career highs, school records and program milestones are no longer enough.
Immediately following Saturday’s 49-31 home victory against Texas Lutheran, Crusaders head coach Pete Fredenburg said the game left a “bad taste in his mouth,” noting the early offensive execution left a lot to be desired and the defense late was subpar.
Although, the performance was not up to Fredenburg’s expectations, the coach will be hard-pressed to witness a more well-rounded statistical showing. After all, the Crusaders accomplished something Saturday never before seen in the 15-year history of the program.
For the first time, Mary Hardin-Baylor won a game with a pair of 100-yard rushers (Elijah Hudson and LiDarral Bailey), a 100-yard receiver (Geoff Myles) and a 200-yard passer (Bailey). Simultaneously, Bailey became the first Crusader to ever pass for 200 yards and rush for 100 in the same game.
At his weekly news conference Monday, Fredenburg showed pride in the trio’s accomplishment, but he still believes he needs more from his players in order to achieve everything he feels the team is capable of.
“We’ve just got to have some guys that step up,” he said. “If they don’t, we won’t have the level of success that we want, but we’ve got some guys who are capable.
“I’m really proud of the way we are throwing and catching. I think Myles has really developed into an outstanding receiver. LiDarral is throwing it well, and he did not have his best performance Saturday, but he is capable of it on any given day. So, I’m proud of the way we are doing that because I felt like we could run the ball, but I still don’t think we’ve developed the skills that we are going to have.”
En route to 628 total yards of offense, Hudson produced a career-high 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, while Bailey finished with 101 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Through the air, Bailey completed 15 of 26 passes for 218 yards, with a majority received by Myles, who set career-highs with eight catches for 148 yards and a touchdown.
In 2003, the Crusaders had a game with a 100-yard rusher and receiver and a 200-yard passer, and, in 2002, Mary Hardin-Baylor had one rusher and two receivers top the 100-yard plateau, along with a 200-yard passer.
And as impressive as Saturday’s feat was, the Crusaders (5-0, 2-0 American Southwest Conference) almost added another player into the mix.
Freshman running back Michael Carpenter was just 6 yards shy of triple digits, rushing for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 13 carries.
Defensively, junior Silvio Diaz made history as well. The defensive tackle recorded a pair of sacks against Texas Lutheran, making him Mary Hardin-Baylor’s all-time leader with 20 in his career.
“I don’t think we responded real well (against Texas Lutheran), and we didn’t play really crisp on either side of the ball, even with the first bunch,” Fredenburg said. “But, then you start looking at the stats, and you say ‘Holy smoke, man, 620 yards of offense.’ So, obviously, we did some good things.”
Stats, however, are secondary to Fredenburg, who wants to see improvements all over the field in this weekend’s game at Louisiana College.
The Wildcats (4-1, 2-0) rank 21st in the D3Football.com poll and received votes in the AFCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.
“They’re good,” Fredenburg said. “From what I’ve seen, they’ve got some size. Their offensive line is really big, and they’ve got a lot of really good players on both sides of the ball.”
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com