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ASC – One Saturday Remains

RICHARDSON, Texas – With one Saturday left in the regular season, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (9-0, 8-0) has already claimed at least a share of the 2017 American Southwest Conference title. The conference championship is the 15th in program history and 13th in a row for the top-ranked Cru.

No. 5 Hardin-Simmons University (8-1, 7-1) is still in the hunt for a share of the title with a win and a UMHB loss.

The Cru will host East Texas Baptist University (7-2, 6-2) at 1:00 p.m. The Cowboys will take on cross-town foe McMurry University (2-7, 2-6) in Abilene at 1:00 p.m.

Southwestern University (5-4, 5-3) goes to Seguin for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff against Texas Lutheran University (6-3, 6-2). Howard Payne University (1-8, 1-7) will host Louisiana College (2-7, 1-7) in Brownwood, Texas at 1:00 p.m. Sul Ross State University (4-5, 3-5) will take on Belhaven University (2-7, 1-7) in Jackson, Miss. at 2:00 p.m.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Brian Baca, QB, So., East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist University sophomore quarterback Brian Baca threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-34 passing and ran for 117 yards with a TD in the Tigers’ 66-21 win over McMurry.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Tevin Jones, LB, Jr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor junior linebacker Tevin Jones (Belton, Texas / Belton HS) recorded a career-high 15 tackles, eight solos, with two for a loss and a pass breakup in the top-ranked Cru’s 51-20 win at Louisiana College.

CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Ryan Travis, K/P, Gr., East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist graduate student kicker Ryan Travis (Jacksonville, Texas / Jacksonville HS) went 9-for-9 on extra point attempts and drilled a 28-yard field goal for 12 points in the Tigers’ 66-21 win against McMurry. He also averaged 57.8 yards per kickoff with three touchbacks.

CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Bryce Wilkerson, KR, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor senior kick returner Bryce Wilkerson (Tyler, Texas / Lee HS) returned a kickoff 95 yards in the second quarter of the top-ranked Cru’s 51-20 victory at Louisiana College. He also had a 28-yard return and caught seven passes for 77 yards.

Mary Hardin-Baylor remained at no. 1 in the and AFCA Top 25 Polls after their 51-20 road win at Louisiana College. Hardin-Simmons stayed at no. 5 in the D3football poll and no. 6 in the AFCA after topping Belhaven 55-7 at home. East Texas Baptist received four votes in the AFCA poll with a 66-21 victory at McMurry.

In the second NCAA South Regional rankings of the year, the ASC had the top two teams in the South. Mary Hardin-Baylor came in at number one, while Hardin-Simmons was ranked second. The rankings are used to determine the participants in the NCAA Championship Tournament.

The NCAA will air the Division III Championship Selection Show on Sunday, November 12 at 4:30 p.m. on

Mary Hardin-Baylor head coach Pete Fredenburg picked up his 200th career win on Sept. 30. He is now 205-38 and is the only head coach in Cru history. For Fredenburg, 135 of those wins have come in ASC play, and 32 more have come in NCAA postseason competition.

The American Southwest Conference is responsible for two of the seven former NCAA Division III student-athletes that made initial 53-man rosters in the National Football League. Jerrell Freeman from UMHB is an ASC Hall of Honor inductee and has been in the NFL since 2012. He is beginning his second season with the Chicago Bears and recorded ten tackles in their opening game against the Atlanta Falcons and is now on the reserve/injured list. Louisiana College offensive tackle Jeremy Vujnovich has started all nine games for the Indianapolis Colts this season.

Southwestern and Texas Lutheran begin their first year with the ASC as football affiliate members after competing in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The additions signal a return to a 10-team football alignment for the first time since 2005 and make the ASC the 10th NCAA Division III conference with at least ten football teams.

Nov. 4 – #5 Hardin-Simmons 55, Belhaven 7 (Abilene, Texas)
Nov. 4 – #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor 51, Louisiana College 20 (Pineville, La.)
Nov. 4 – Southwestern 70, Howard Payne 6 (Georgetown, Texas)
Nov. 4 – East Texas Baptist 66, McMurry 21 (Marshall, Texas)
Nov. 4 – Texas Lutheran 40, Sul Ross State 14 (Alpine, Texas)

Nov. 11 – Southwestern (5-4, 5-3 ASC) at Texas Lutheran (6-3, 6-2 ASC)
Seguin, Texas 1:00 p.m.
Location: Bulldog Stadium
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Tied 3-3
Last Meeting: November 12, 2016 – Southwestern 35, Texas Lutheran 31
Coaches Records:
Southwestern – Joe Austin – 15-33 (5-3 ASC) (5th season) at SU/32-55 overall (9th season)
Texas Lutheran – Carl Gustafson – 6-3 (6-2 ASC) (1st season)

Nov. 11 – East Texas Baptist (7-2, 6-2 ASC) at #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (9-0, 8-0 ASC)
Belton, Texas 1:00 p.m.
Location: Crusader Stadium
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Mary Hardin-Baylor leads 16-1
Last Meeting: October 15, 2016 – Mary Hardin-Baylor 59, East Texas Baptist 22
Coaches Records:
East Texas Baptist – Scott Highsmith – 7-2 (6-2 ASC) (1st season)
Mary Hardin-Baylor – Pete Fredenburg – 205-38 (135-16 ASC) (20th season)

Nov. 11 – Louisiana College (2-7, 1-7 ASC) at Howard Payne (1-8, 1-7 ASC)
Brownwood, Texas 1:00 p.m.
Location: Gordon Wood Stadium
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Louisiana College leads 9-8
Last Meeting: October 1, 2016 – Louisiana College 35, Howard Payne 7
Coaches Records:
Louisiana College – Justin Charles – 2-7 (1-7 ASC) (1st season)
Howard Payne – Braxton Harris – 1-8 (1-7 ASC) (1st season)

Nov. 11 – #5 Hardin-Simmons (8-1, 7-1 ASC) at McMurry (2-7, 2-6 ASC)
Abilene, Texas 1:00 p.m.
Location: Wilford Moore Stadium
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Hardin-Simmons leads 26-4
Last Meeting: November 12, 2016 – Hardin-Simmons 47, McMurry 17
Coaches Records:
Hardin-Simmons – Jesse Burleson – 49-21 (31-14 ASC) (7th season)
McMurry – Lance Hinson – 12-27 (6-18 ASC) (4th season) at MCM/49-80 overall (13th season)

Nov. 11 – Sul Ross State (4-5, 3-5 ASC) at Belhaven (2-7, 1-7 ASC)
Jackson, Miss. 2:00 p.m.
Location: Belhaven Bowl Stadium
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: November 7, 2015 – Belhaven 12, Sul Ross State 6
Coaches Records:
Sul Ross State – John Pearce – 15-24 (9-15 ASC) (4th season)
Belhaven – Hal Mumme – 7-31 (1-7 ASC) at BU (4th season)/142-150-1 overall (26th season)

NCAA Division III Championship First Round

Cody Usher
Assistant Commissioner
American Southwest Conference