Aug 31, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas -
The Lamar Cardinals opened the 2013 season by hammering Oklahoma Panhandle State in record-setting fashion, 75-0, Saturday night at the Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas. Lamar set new school marks for points scored, margin of victory, total yards of offense, most touchdown passes, individual touchdown passes (Caleb Berry), team extra points and extra points by an individual (Justin Stout).
"Obviously, this was a good night for us, and we got off to a good start," said head coach Ray Woodard, who won his fourth-straight home opener since resurrecting the program. "We were a little concerned about maybe coming out a little flat or complacent, but we didn't do that. We played very well early, and I'm very pleased to start off the season with a win."
Lamar wasted no time in cracking the scoreboard. Junior Kevin Johnson caught the first of his two receptions when he hauled in a 13-yard pass from Caleb Berry with 12:39 in first. The Cardinals were back on the attack just over three minutes later following an OPSU fumble. Freshman Kade Harrington cashed in the turnover by recording his first career touchdown on a 13-yard scamper to make it 14-0.
The Cardinals forced another fumble on the Aggies' very next play from scrimmage. Two plays later junior Caleb Berry connected with Payden McVey from 21 yards out to give the Cardinals an insurmountable 21-point lead. Berry completed his third touchdown pass of the night when he connected with Jordan Edwards for a 25-yard scoring strike with 3:44 remaining in the quarter.
The second quarter saw more of the same as Lamar scored four more touchdowns to take a 56-point lead. Berry connected with Lamar receivers for scoring plays of 22, 72, and 20 yards, while Harrington added his second career touchdown run. The 72-yard completion was to junior Mark Roberts
with 5:22 remaining in the half.
While the LU offense was busy lighting up the scoreboard, the Cardinals defense was busy shutting down their visitors from the north. OPSU could manage only 180 yards of total offense against an opportunistic defense. Lamar forced seven fumbles recovering four, and picked off two passes.
"Defensively, we really picked up right where we left off," said Woodard. "We created turnovers and had great field position. We didn't let anybody behind us, and we played pretty close to penalty-free."
The Cardinal defense continued to pitch a shutout in the second half, while the offense tacked on 19 more points. Johnson caught the second of his two scores with an acrobatic one-handed grab early in the third. Following a safety, Lamar added a 21-yard field goal from Juan Carranco and a 10-yard Caleb Harmon TD run to close out the scoring.
Berry finished the game completing 17-of-27 passes for 256 yards and six touchdowns. The Lamar signal callers connected with 10 different receivers, including five who caught a touchdown pass. Berry also carried the ball three times for a team-high 74 yards. He was one of five different Cardinals to rush for at least 42 yards on the night. LU finished the night with 292 yards rushing on 52 carries.
Four different players tied for team-high honors with five tackles, including senior Jesse Dickson who was also credited with three tackles for losses, and 1.5 sacks. He also forced a fumble. Classmate Mark Murrill had four tackles, including 3.5 for losses.
The Cardinals set several records Saturday. The 75 points were the most scored by a Lamar football team, while the 75-point margin of victory was also the largest in school history. Berry's six TD passes ties Tommy Tomlin (1969 vs. Louisiana Tech) for the best-single game mark in school history. The seven TD passes as a team broke the record of six set during the 1969 and 1981 seasons.
Lamar finished the night with 615 yards of total offense (292 rushing and 332 passing). Saturday night's total eclipsed the old mark of 581 against Louisiana-Monroe in 1987. The Cardinals also converted 10 extra-point attempts, including nine by Justin Stout. Both marks are new school records.
The Cardinals return to action Saturday when they travel to Ruston, La. to face Louisiana Tech. The game against the Bulldogs is slated to begin at 6 p.m. from Joe Aillet Stadium.
"We have a lot of good teams on our schedule," said Woodard. "One of them, Louisiana Tech, is next week, and we're going to have to get a lot better. We have to understand that this is just one game, and regardless of what happened, we have 11 games left. We have to keep working and be hungry, and continue to improve."