Last night, the 8th ranked Idaho Vandals took on the Lamar Cardinals at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont. The Vandals entered the game favored, but nobody saw a gap in talent and performance like what was witnessed last night. The score makes this game look less lopsided than what was displayed last night. Idaho took possession first and marched down the field, scoring to end a seven-minute drive in which the clock did not stop once. After scoring on three of their first possessions of the ballgame and once more before the half, Idaho took a 28-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Idaho scored once again on their first possession, and then the second-team unit came out to finish things. Lamar was able to muster a field goal before Idaho put seven more on the board to take a 42-3 lead. Lamar was able to score two touchdowns in the final 9 minutes of the game, but it was nowhere near enough as Idaho won by a final score of 42-17.
Idaho quarterback and reigning Jerry Rice award-winner Gevani McCoy threw for 164 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception on 14/19 passing. McCoy came out of the gate looking sharp, speading the ball around between his top three receivers. Hayden Hatten, a first-team All-American last season and McCoy’s favorite target, consistently found open space and hauled in 6 catches for 86 yard and a pair of touchdowns. Hatten also caught a pass in the backfield on a designed play and launched it deep to running back Nick Romano for a 45-yard touchdown, the Vandals fifth of the game. Romano also finished the night with 5 carries for 41 yards, including a 24-yard scamper in the first half.
Anthony Woods led the team in rushing yards. The sophomore, who led the Vandals in rushing last season, finished the night with 138 yards on 13 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Woods’ longest run of the game was a 93-yarder which did not result in a touchdown. Backed up to their own 2 with a minute left in the first half, Woods took a handoff and broke off the huge run, getting tackled at Lamar’s 5 before a penalty after the play backed Idaho up to the 20 yardline.
McCoy totaled 41 yards on the ground on 5 carries, including a 27-yard scramble in the second quarter. Receiving-wise, after Hatten, seven other Vandals caught passes, including junior Jermaine Jackson, who brought in 2 passes for 23 yards, and Terez Traynor, who hauled in 2 catches for 35 yards.
On defense, Idaho forced Lamar into punting over and over. The Cardinals gained just 31 yards of total offense against 311 from the Vandals. After Robert Coleman threw his only interception of the game, to cornerback Marcus Harris, Lamar was able to get some offensive production going, but it was too little, too late. JUCO transfer quarterback Robert Coleman (who was not announced as the starter prior to the game) completed 15-24 passes for 119 yards, with a touchdown and interception. Coleman looked better in the second half, as did running back Khalan Griffin, who was very close to totaling negative yardage in the first half. Andre Dennis led Lamar with 34 receiving yards, on one catch. On defense, it was cornerback Kevin Anderson who tallied the interception, and Samuel Scaife IV who recovered a fumble (from Idaho freshman RB Carlos Matheney).
Overall, Idaho totaled 497 total yards to Lamar’s 190. Idaho passed for 224 and rushed for 273, and the split for the Cardinals was 119 and 71, favoring passing. Both teams converted 6 third down opportunities, with the Vandals attempting 9 times and Lamar 13. Both teams also held the ball for almost the same amount of time, with Idaho’s time of possession being 30:16 and Lamar’s 29:44.