No. 2-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor erupted for four touchdowns in the first quarter on the way to a 75-9 blowout win over the Vikings in Belton, Texas, producing a gut-wrenching end to another strong season for Berry College as the program continues to grow through its first decade of existence.
The No. 18-ranked Vikings (10-2) were able to amass just 205 yards of offense — 112 through the air and 93 rushing — and convert only two third downs against the Crusaders, who advance to the NCAA quarterfinals next week against No. 5 St. John’s.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-0) collected 575 yards of offense, including 354 yards on the ground, and led 69-0 before Berry finally got on the scoreboard with 1:25 left in the third quarter when Tate Adcock hit Mason Kinsey on a 36-yard touchdown pass.
The Vikings recorded a safety when UMHB mishandled the ensuing kickoff and the ball went out of the back of its own end zone, but the Crusaders were able to score once more in the fourth quarter for the 75-9 final.
Joey Connors led Berry’s ground game collecting 72 yards, while Kinsey was Berry’s leading receiver with four catches for 62 yards. Senior defensive back Darrell Mims had an interception, while A.M. Harris recorded a fumble recovery.
Markeith Miller led the Crusaders’ rushing attack with 118 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, while Marquis Duncan scored three touchdowns of his own and finished with 80 yards on 13 carries.
Completing just its sixth season, Berry has gone 30-4 in the last three seasons, each one highlighted by a Southern Athletic Association championship, and been undefeated at its home field at Valhalla Stadium during that time.
The Vikings earned several all-conference honors this season, including head coach Tony Kunczewski’s second straight Coach of the Year award and having the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for the third year in a row with former Coosa standout Bryson Lamboy taking up the mantle previously held by Mamadou Soumahoro.