BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar forced Southeastern Louisiana into four turnovers on the way to a 38-14 victory over the Lions in Southland Conference football action Saturday night at Provost Umphrey Stadium.
Southeastern (1-3, 1-1 Southland) could not overcome an early 14-0 deficit and failed to start 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2011. Lamar (1-3, 1-1 Southland) picked up its first win of the season and the victory marked the first time the Cardinals have beaten Southeastern since 2011 after losing four straight games in the series.
“We made some mistakes in the first half, but we did some things to get ourselves back in the game by halftime,” Southeastern head coach Ron Roberts said. “Lamar took it to us in the second half and we’re making some of the same mistakes we’ve been making since the beginning of the season. We have to evaluate some things and decide how good we want to be.”
Carson Earp and Kade Harrington led the Lamar offensive attack. Earp rushed for two touchdowns, while Harrington topped 100 yards on the ground for the 17th time in his career, finishing with 143 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Lamar defensive back Brendan Langley tied a school record with three interceptions.
Seniors Justin Alo (5-for-8, 40 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and D’Shaie Landor (7-for-16, 92 yards, 3 INT) split time under center for the Lions. Sophomore Julius Maracalin led the Lions with 75 rushing yards, while senior Rasheed Harrell rushed for his second touchdown of the season for SLU and junior Joe Pack caught his first career touchdown. Junior Max Lyons led the Lions with nine tackles.
After the two teams traded empty possessions, Lamar took the early lead. A 52-yard pass from Earp to Marcus Daggs highlighted a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Kendrick King capped the march with a six-yard run on a jet sweep to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 3:33 left in the opening quarter.
After a Lion three-and-out, Southeastern gave Lamar a short field. Zae Giles blocked a punt by Ivy Wall to allow Lamar to take over at the Lion 21-yard line. Two plays later, Earp raced around right end from 21 yards out to take a 14-0 lead with 2:13 remaining in the first period.
Another Southeastern miscue allowed Lamar to take over again in Southeastern territory. Langley stepped in front of a short pass by Alo to give the Cardinals the ball at the Lion 37-yard line. However, the Lion defense forced LU to punt to keep the lead at two scores.
Landor came in to relieve Alo and drove Southeastern quickly into the Lamar red zone. However on fourth-and-one, Harrell was thrown for a loss by Koby Couron to end the Lions’ scoring threat.
Lamar looked like it was going to pad the lead on the ensuing drive, methodical moving into Southeastern territory on a 12-play drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock. However, the drive eventually stalled and Alex Ball’s 43-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
Landor opened the ensuing drive with a 25-yard strike to senior Brandon Acker to move into Lamar territory. A couple of tough runs by Maracalin set up a first-and-goal. Harrell scampered in from 10 yards out to cut the Lamar lead to 14-7 with 1:05 remaining. The score was the 17th career rushing score for the senior, moving him into a tie with former teammate Xavier Roberson for seventh in school history.
Lamar was content to run out the clock, but after the Lions stopped LU on third down, sophomore Sean Clavelle was called for a dead ball personal foul to extend the drive. Lamar would take advantage, as Ball raced on the field and connected on a 38-yard field goal as the half ended to send LU into the break with a 17-7 advantage.
Southeastern was forced to punt on its opening drive of the second half and Lamar promptly added to its lead. Earp capped an eight-play, 83-yard drive with a 13-yard run to extend the Cardinal edge to 24-7 with 9:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Landor marched Southeastern into Lamar territory on the ensuing drive, but Langley returned his second interception of the game into Lion territory. Five plays later, Harrington raced in from 15 yards out to cap a 43-yard drive to give the Cardinals a commanding 31-7 lead with 2:15 remaining in the third period.
Lamar earned another short field after another Southeastern turnover. A Landor pass tipped off Maracalin’s hands and McGill grabbed it for an interception at the SLU 31-yard line. However, the drive stalled and Ball missed his second 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to keep the score at 31-7.
Quickly, Langley came up big again, intercepting Landor and again setting up the Cardinals once again at the Lion 31-yard line. This time, the Cardinals took advantage, as Andrew Allen scored from five yards out to extend the Lamar lead to 38-7 with 11:06 remaining.
Southeastern managed to cut into the lead in the waning minutes. Pack hauled in a 13-yard scoring pass from Alo with 2:37 remaining to cut the Cardinal lead to 38-14.
Southeastern will return home to host McNeese at 6 p.m. in Strawberry Stadium. The game will be televised on Cox Sports Television and on ESPN3 outside of the Cox Sports viewing area. Fans can also hear the game on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network, via the TuneIn Radio app and on www.LionSports.net, where live stats will also be available.
The SLU-McNeese game will be Southeastern’s annual Geaux Pink game dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. In conjunction with game week, fans can visit either of the Hammond Raising Cane’s on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
The first 300 Southeastern students in attendance for the McNeese game will receive free t-shirts courtesy of Southeastern Athletics Marketing and Promotions.
SLU – 0 7 0 7 – 14 (1-3, 1-1 SLC)
LU – 14 3 14 7 – 38 (1-3, 1-1 SLC)
LU – King 6 run (Ball kick), 3:33
LU – Earp 21 run (Ball kick), 2:13
SLU – Harrell 10 run (Tatum kick), 1:05
LU – Ball 38 FG, 0:00
LU – Earp 13 run (Ball kick), 9:06
LU – Harrington 15 run (Ball kick), 2:15
LU – Allen 5 run (Ball kick), 11:06
SLU – Pack 13 pass from Alo (Tatum kick), 2:37
FIRST DOWNS 23 22
RUSHES-YARDS (NET) 205 268
PASSING YDS (NET) 151 130
Passes Att-Comp-Int 26-14-4 16-9-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS. 73-356 64-398
Fumble Returns-Yards 0-0 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards 5-120 1-14
Punt Returns-Yards 0-0 2-7
Interception Returns-Yards 0-0 4-41
Punts (Number-Avg) 3-26.3 3-38.7
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-39 4-32
Possession Time. 31:16 28:44
Third-Down Conversions 6-for-13 4-for-10
Fourth-Down Conversions 0-for-2 0-for-0
Red Zone Scores-Chances 2-3 6-6
RUSHING: SLU – Maracalin 11-75, Harrell 11-43, Landor 8-36, Henderson 7-21, Alo 8-18, Bethea 2-8, Pack 0-4. Totals 47-205. LU – Harrington 23-143, Earp 11-79, Krautz 6-13, Giles 1-11, King 1-6, Randle 2-5, Thompson 1-5, Daggs 1-4, Allen 2-2. Totals 48-268.
PASSING: SLU – Landor 7-16-3-92-0, Alo 7-10-1-59-1. Totals 14-26-4-151-1. LU – Earp 9-15-0-130-0, Team 0-1-0-0-0. Totals 9-16-0-130-0.
RECEIVING: SLU – Ingraffia 3-22, Rogers 2-26, Tolbert 2-18, Harrell 2-18, Acker 1-25, Pack 1-12, Henderson 1-12, Conner 1-11, Price 1-7. Totals 14-151. LU –.Jennings 3-35, Jones 2-15, Daggs 1-52, Giles 1-23, Thompson 1-3, Harrington 1-2. Totals 9-130.
A – 7,032.