In a meeting of D3 football giants, the No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders will head to Perkins Stadium to take on the No. 3 Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks (13-0) in the national semifinals on Saturday.
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The game (3:30 p.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Mary Hardin-Baylor vs Wisconsin-Whitewater live on ESPN+:
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Mary Hardin-Baylor vs Wisconsin-Whitewater 2021 Preview
The Warhawks are coming off a 51-21 victory over the eighth-ranked Central (Iowa) Dutch last weekend. UW Whitewater scored the final 24 points in the game in a dominant second half. Warhawks QB Max Meylor had an incredible overall performance, going 17-of-22 for 230 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for and catching additional TDs.
“This guy is so efficient, we’re all shocked when he has an incompletion,” Whitewater coach Kevin Bullis told the Daily Jefferson County Union about his young signal-caller. “He keeps it fun.”
Whitewater running back Alex Peete also added 32 carries for 181 yards and three TDs in the win. It was Pete’s fifth 100+ yard performance in his last six games, so he’ll be difficult for Hardin-Baylor to stop. Together, they lead a Whitewater attack that is putting up 43.5 points a game on offense. The Warhawks I have also been excellent defensively, allowing just 11.3 points a game.
On the other side, the Crusaders are fresh from a 49-24 quarterfinal win over Linfield University last Saturday. UMHB quarterback Kyle King threw for 345 yards and six touchdowns in the victory.
“He played a phenomenal game,” UMHB head coach Pete Fredenburg said after the game about King’s performance, via The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Whatever motivation he had (after Ryan Redding started the previous week), he certainly played well. That might be one of the best offensive performances that we’ve ever had. It goes without saying that our quarterbacks have been outstanding throwing the ball. We have wonderful receivers.”
These two teams have met in Texas in recent years, splitting the last two games, so it has been a while since the Crusaders have been in Whitewater in December.
“The last memory I have of Whitewater is it was a heartbreaking loss but a great experience,” said Fredenburg, who was still head coach of Mary Hardin-Baylor the last time these two teams met in 2007, when the Warhawks won, 17-7. “I remember the field was iced over. We were in awe of the surroundings.”
Thus, the elements could wind up playing a huge role in this one.
“It’s strange,” Bullis added. “This is going to be our 10th game at home this season. I don’t know if that’s ever happened here. It’s pretty special to be here. Obviously, we love playing at home.”