While Mary Hardin-Baylor experimented on offense all season, one thing remained a constant — the defensive prowess of linebacker Javicz Jones.

Jones was named the American Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday and was among 23 Cru players named to the All-Conference Team. Jones, a junior linebacker from Katy Morton Ranch, leads the Cru with 105 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and two interceptions.

He also has a fumble return for a touchdown, a blocked punt and four pass break-ups for the league’s top rated defense.

McMurry University quarterback Jake Mullin was voted Offensive Player of the Year.

Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg, who led the Cru to a second consecutive 10-0 regular season and ASC title for the ninth time overall with an 8-0 league mark, was named ASC Coach of the Year.

UMHB kick returner Tariekus Ellis was selected Special Teams Player of the Year and offensive tackle Nate Menkin was voted Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Menkin, a senior offensive tackle from Lago Vista, was the highest-grading lineman for an offense that is averaging 299.3 rushing yards and 464.7 yards of total offense per game. UMHB has also allowed just 14 sacks on the year.

Ellis, a senior kick returner and wide receiver from Allen, is the only player in the ASC with two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season to set a new Cru single-season record. He is averaging 32.8 yards per kickoff return and has one punt return for 66 yards on the season.

Jones is joined on the All-Conference First Team defense by defensive tackle Chris Brent, a senior from Kaufman, who has 31 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks on the season.

Other first teamers were defensive end Korey Steward, who has 23 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. He also returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown this season. Free safety Rocky Vaclavick, a senior from Edna, has 42 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and four pass break-ups on the year.

Menkin is joined on the All-Conference First Team offense by offensive guard Michael Coles, running back Darius Wilson, who leads the team and conference with 1,119 yards and 13 touchdowns and junior kick returner Geoff Myles.

In addition to Ellis, the Cru placed three other players on the All-Conference Second Team offense in senior wide receiver Damian Davis, who tied the UMHB single-season record with 44 receptions for 690 yards and six touchdowns, junior offensive guard Rudy Nerio and senior tight end Brady Engelmohr.

The Cru had four players voted to the All-Conference Second Team defense — defensive end Silvio Diaz, defensive tackle Allen Dixon, and linebackers Ty Dooley and Ryan Metcalf.

Seven Cru players earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors including quarterback LiDarral Bailey, offensive tackle Sam Maxie, center Jacob Hunter, a sophomore from Gatesville, running back Elijah Hudson, defensive back J.C. Hickman, cornerback Tracy Cooper and punter Chad Peevey.

Fredenburg was voted Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career and for the second straight season.

UMHB advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championships for the eighth straight year under Fredenburg and open the postseason with against Redlands this Saturday at Tiger Field at 12 p.m.

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