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Cards maul Wildcats, 65-16

LU running back Myles Wanza runs the ball in for a touchdown at Provost Umphrey Stadium, Thursday. UP photo by Noah Dawlearn
LU running back, Myles Wanza runs the ball in for a touchdown at Provost Umphrey Stadium, Thursday. UP photo by Noah Dawlearn

 The Lamar Cardinals football team defeated the Bethel University Wildcats in their season opener, 65-16, at Provost Umphrey Stadium, Aug. 29.

“It is great to have a first win,” head coach Mike Schultz said. “We played a lot of people in this game, so guys who barely get any experience had some. However, we need to work on both sides of the ball, and we allowed too many turnovers and our defense was out of place at times. ”

The Cards did not waste any time in the first quarter, as they stopped the Wildcats from scoring in the first four minutes. On the Cards’ opening drive, with 11:43 left in the quarter, quarterback Jordan Hoy rocketed a 26-yard pass to tight end Case Robinson for a touchdown. Nine seconds later, Lamar’s Davion May forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Cameron Hayes. On the next play, Hoy fired a pass to wide receiver Erik Pizarro for seven yards for another touchdown. With 2:58 left in the quarter, Wildcat kicker Rodrigo Campos put the ball through the uprights to put Bethel on the board. The Cards ended the first up 14-3.

In the second quarter, the Cardinals scored on a nine-play, 75-yard drive, that ended with Hoy calling his own number from eight yards out. However, the extra point from Elvin Martinez was pushed right, leaving the score 20-3. Bethel scored two minutes later on another kick from Campos, this time from 38-yards out. The Cardinals would answer back on a three-play, 52-yard drive with Hoy again calling his own from four yards out. Schultz pulled kicker Martinez in favor of junior transfer Bailey Giffen who converted the extra point, 27-6.

“(The kicker’s) job is built on consistency and with (Martinez) missing that extra point, I was ready for a change,” Schultz said. “I gave the other kid a chance and, obviously, it was a smart decision because he was 100 percent in the game, and even hit a 48-yard field goal.”

With 9:02 left in the quarter, Bethel defensive back Brandon Moore picked off Hoy and returned the ball for 48 yards until he was tackled by Hoy. Almost a minute later, Bethel quarterback Chris Arrambide called his own number from a yard out, making the score 27-13. Four minutes later, Arrambide threw a pick to Cardinal defensive back Michael Lawson.

“My teammates allowed me to make that play,” Lawson said. “Coach called the play and I was able to execute it. You can’t take any opponent lightly, and at the end of the day football is football and one day you can win or you can lose.”

After the Lawson interception, the Cards set up a single-play, 13-yard drive, from running back Myles Wanza to put the score at 34-13. With 26 seconds left in the half, Hoy called his own number for a third time and scored, rushing from three-yards out to send the game into the half 41-13 in the Cardinals favor.

In the third quarter, the Cards defense prevented Bethel from scoring. Lamar scored three minutes in with a six-play, 75-yard drive, that ended with running back Derrion Randle rushing for six yards. Three minutes later, Hoy hit Wanza for a 28-yard touchdown reception making the score, 55-13. With 8:29 left in the quarter, LU freshman quarterback Jermaine Givens came in to relive a tired Hoy. Seven minutes later, Giffen hit a 46-yard field goal to end the third, 58-13.

In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were back on the board with 9:04 left when Campos hit a field goal from 22-yards out but that was all that the Cards allowed. The Cardinals, with less than seven minutes left in the game, scored another touchdown when running back Cole Starnes ran it in from 35 yards out to end the game, 65-16.

Hoy lead the offense on the night finishing the night with 75 percent completion rate, six total touchdowns, 226 passing yards and 51 rushing yards. Randle ended the night with 79 rushing yards, and Starnes ended with 76 rushing yards. 

“I really try to pride myself in making a first impression when I go out there on the first drive,” Hoy said. “It is our job to go out there every time and try to score. Whether I am handing the ball off to the running backs or I am throwing it in the air, as long as I get in the endzone that is what matters.”

The Cards return to action against FCS opponent Mississippi Valley State at 6 p.m., Sept. 7, at Provost Umphrey Stadium.

Category: Sports