Crusaders crowned kings of Div. III

Associated Press

SHENANDOAH, Texas — Jase Hammack threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns, Markeith Miller rushed for 90 yards and a score and Mary Hardin-Baylor won its second Division III national title in three years, beating defending champion Mount Union 24-16 on Friday night.

Hammack rebounded after losing a fumble in the first that led to the Purple Raiders’ lone touchdown by completing 11 of 19 passes and rallying the Crusaders (15-0) from a 10-0 deficit. T.J. Josey caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown for Mary Hardin-Baylor, which lost to the Raiders (14-1) 12-0 last year in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

Hammack also rushed for 44 yards,

D’Angelo Fulford was 18 of 37 for 194 yards and rushed for 45 yards, and had a 1-yard touchdown run to put Mount Union up 10-0 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. Josh Petruccelli added 57 rushing yards and Justin Hill caught five passes for 71 yards for the Raiders. Both teams finished with 303 yards.

Trailing 24-13, the Raiders cut the lead to eight on Cory Barnett’s third field goal with seven minutes left. After stopping Mary Hardin-Baylor a yard short on a fourth- and-2 at the Crusaders 40, Mount Union’s drive stalled at Mary Hardin-Baylor 16 with two straight incompletions with a minute left.

Following a three-and-out by Mary Hardin-Baylor, Mount Union had one last chance, but Fulford was sacked by Khevon Shepard and injured on third-and-10. Mount Union’s lateral play on fourth down failed.

Hammack found Josey for a 36-yard touchdown pass, which Josey caught falling into the end zone with 1:27 remaining in the first quarter. Miller gave the Crusaders a 14-13 lead with a 2-yard touchdown run right before halftime.

After Anthony Avila’s field goal in the third quarter, Hammack upped the lead to 24-13 midway through the fourth, finding K.J. Miller for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.