Fun drive for local fans. K.J. Miller, Chaka Watson playing Saturday in Division III quarterfinals.

Published 10:00 am Friday, December 2, 2022

BELTON — There is a nice game looming for Orange County and West Orange-Stark football fans if they would like to make a trip to Mary-Hardin Baylor University in Belton Saturday with a couple amazing talents from our area.

The Mary-Hardin Baylor Crusaders (11-1) are taking on Bethel University in the NCAA Division III National Quarterfinals at noon.

The game features two former WO-S Mustangs who were instrumental in that program’s run to the Class 4A Division II State Championship games for four seasons.

It is senior standout K.J. Miller’s last college home game as a Crusaders receiver and return man, while Chaka Watson, who was a standout quarterback and defensive back at WO-S, starts at defensive back.

Former WO-S standout K.J. Miller was named to the D3 Preseason All-America Team for the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders. (Photo courtesy Kent Miller)

Miller has racked up numerous honors for the Crusaders, recently claimed another one and is on a quest to be in a program that has a chance to win the National Championship for the third time after the Crusaders won it all in 2019 and 2021.

Miller was named the All-American Southwest Conference Team’s Special Teams Player of the Year.

Miller broke the NCAA record for punt return yards with 1,680 in his four years with the Crusaders. He is averaging 20.27 yards per punt return this season, with a 64-yard long. Miller added eight kick returns for 248 yards and ranks 63rd in Division III with 471 combined kick return yards.

Miller also received First Team Offense honors at slot back and return specialist.

As a receiver, Miller ranked third in the conference with 52 receptions. He has hauled in 702 yards with eight touchdowns this season. Miller averaged 13.5 yards per catch and 70.2 yards per game during the regular season.

He became the Crusaders’ all-time receiving leader in catches and yards earlier this year. After the two playoff games, Miller now has 62 catches for 889 yards and 11 TDs for the season.

Meanwhile, Watson has been a shutdown corner for the Crusaders as a junior. He has made 34 tackles.

The Crusaders defeated Trinity 24-17 last week. Miller hauled in a 20-yard touchdown reception, and Watson posted three tackles.

Prices are $12 for reserved, $10 for general admission and $5 for students.