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Cardinals upset Bearkats, 41-23

LU’s Jordan Hoy, 8, runs the ball while dodging defenders just before scoring a touchdown, during the 41-23 win against Sam Houston State at Provost Umphrey Stadium, Saturday. UP photo by Abigail Pennington
LU’s Jordan Hoy, 8, runs the ball while dodging defenders just before scoring a touchdown, during the 41-23 win against Sam Houston State at Provost Umphrey Stadium, Saturday. UP photo by Abigail Pennington

The Lamar football team defeated the no. 14 FCS-ranked Sam Houston State Bearkats, 41-23, Saturday, at Provost Umphrey Stadium. This marks the first win against a nationally-ranked opponent since the 2015 season when the Cardinals also defeated SHSU who were ranked third at the time.

“It was a fun afternoon,” LU head coach Mike Schultz said. “This is probably the most complete game we have played to date. We did a nice job offensively. I must give credit to Dan Dodd and the offensive staff.

“Sam Houston has a good offense with a fast group of kids, and we saw that. You have to give credit to our defensive staff, also. Troy Douglas and Cam Clark did a good job getting our guys ready to play, and they went out and executed.”

In the first quarter, the Bearkats scored on their opening drive with a 37-yard pass from quarterback Ty Brock to receiver Davion Davis. However, the Cardinal defense blocked the PAT to give SHSU a six-point edge. The Cards answered back with a 31-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Elvin Martinez.

The Lamar defense forced two three-and-outs before LU quarterback Darrel Colbert, Jr. was sacked, causing him to fumble the ball. SHSU lineman Spencer Williams recovered on the LU 22. The Bearkats scored with Brock passing to Davis from nine yards out to increase the lead to 10.

Four minutes later, Brock was picked off by LU junior back Caleb Abrom to set up the LU offense. With the momentum from the interception, the Cardinals struck back when sophomore running back Miles Wanza scored from 17-yards out to end the first quarter, 13-10, in SHSU’s favor.

In the second quarter, the Lamar defense prevented Sam Houston from scoring, blocking a 28-yard field goal attempt by kicker Tre Honshtein. After the blocked kick, the Cardinals scored on a seven-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Colbert calling his own number from 14-yards out to give Lamar the lead at the half, 17-13.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals scored on their opening drive with a six-play, 82-yard drive that ended with Colbert rushing from eight yards out. Colbert was injured on the play and taken off the field.

“I wanted to come back into the game,” he said. “The coaches had made a decision to find out what was going on — they didn’t want to risk it or make the injury worse.”

Junior quarterback Jordan Hoy replaced Colbert.

“There was no pressure coming from my part,” Hoy said. “I prepare myself each week to come into the game in the event of something happening like this. I saw Darrel go down, so I knew I needed to come in and run the offense. Darrel told me to keep it going and do what you can to run the offense.”

The Lamardefense forced another three-and-out. On the next possession, the SHSU defense pressured the Cardinals, forcing Martinez to kick a 25-yard field goal to increase the lead, 27-13. Three minutes later, Sam Houston responded with a two-yard rush from running back Kyran Jackson. Sam Houston was back on the move, but the Lamar defense forced Honshtein to kick a 40-yard field goal to cut LU’s lead to four points. The Cardinals scored on a three-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 35-yard rush from Wanza to end the third, 34-23.

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinal defense prevented the Bearkats from scoring. With less than five minutes remaining, the Cardinals scored on a five-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Hoy calling his own number to score from seven yards to complete the scoring.

The Cardinals finished the day with 566 yards of total offense, with 435 of those coming from rushing. The Cardinal rushing attack was led by Wanza with 168 yards (11.2 yards a carry) and two touchdowns, and junior A.J. Walker who had 121 yards. Colbert had 12 carries for 63 yards and Hoy rushed for 33 yards. The remaining 131 yards came from passing, led by Hoy with 90 yards and Colbert with 41 yards.

The Cardinal defense held Sam Houston to 382 yards, with only 79 yards rushing.

The defensive effort was led by senior back Davon Jernigan, who ended the night with a team-high 16 tackles, including one for a loss. Senior back Rodney Randle, Jr. had nine stops, and three pass breakups, and senior back Lane Taylor had eight solo tackles.

“We knew we had to keep them out of the end zone,” Jernigan said. “Coming into the game, we knew we had to keep them off the field on third downs.”

The Cardinals will look to continue their two-game win streak as they travel to Nacogdoches to take onStephen F. Austin, Saturday. This will be Lamar’s first trip to Nacogdoches since2012. The game will kick off at 3 p.m. at Homer Bryce Stadium. The game can be heard on NewsTalk 560 KLVI, and is on ESPN+.

Story by Cade Smith, UP staff writer

Category: Sports