Oct. 9, 2010
BEAUMONT - Lamar University's football team broke out its best balancing act Saturday night, accounting for 204 passing yards and a season-high 147 rushing yards in a hard-fought 14-0 victory over Langston University.
Andre Bevil completed 14 of 25 passes and hooked up with Marcus Jackson on two long touchdown passes, while the defense pitched the Cardinals' first shutout since a 41-0 blanking of Sam Houston State in 1989.
Jackson got 105 of his 112 receiving yards on his breakaway touchdowns. The first covered 47 yards in the first quarter, and the second was a 58-yard bomb midway in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals, who were held to a negative 23 yards rushing in the previous week's 38-10 loss to Sam Houston State got their ground game churning early as a couple of strong runs by new running back starter Octavious Logan drew in the Lion defense and helped set up the first Bevil-to-Jackson touchdown.
The 5-foot-6, 170-pound Logan went on to post a career-high 96 yards on 12 carries, including a 32-yarder that got the Cardinals out of a hole on their 97-yard yard drive for their final touchdown.
"I wished we could've gotten four more yards for Octavious," said coach Ray Woodard, who saw his Cardinals pull to 3-3 on the season. "It would've been nice for him to have a 100-yasrd game.
"We moved the sticks much better tonight (the Cardinals accounted for 17 first downs as opposed to their season-low of nine in their earlier loss to Stephen F. Austin). We played a lot better second half than we did in the first half when we were sluggish at times."
Bevil, who carried a 300.0-yard passing average into the game, was glad to see Jackson help take up some of the slack left when leading receiver J.J. Hayes had to sit out the game because of an injury.
"Before our first touchdown, we had run the ball well for a few plays, and then we went with a play-action call," said Bevil. "I threw the ball over the top, and Marcus did a good job of getting up there and getting the ball.
"The second touchdown was a slow-developing play. Marcus ran a slant; I hit him, and he did a great job of busting it all the way."
The standing-room-only crowd of 17,306 saw the Cardinal defense keep the Lions out of the end zone despite allowing 354 yards of total offense. They helped their cause by blocking a second-quarter field goal attempt and by coming up with a clutch goal-line stand in the final quarter.
Rover Michael Allen helped the Cardinals preserve the shutout by successfully defending a fourth-down pass in the end zone early in the fourth quarter as the Cards were clinging to their 6-0 lead.
"He ran a corner route," said Allen of the Lions' intended receiver on the critical play. "Out linemen did a good job of getting a push, and our linebackers did a good job in coverage.
"Luckily, he (Lion quarterback Chad Miller) threw the ball to my guy. I fought hard and made the play. It took all 11 of us playing as hard as we could to pull this thing (the shutout) off. We knew if everyone did their jobs, we could get it done.
"As a defense, we let ourselves and the whole team down in our last two games. To get this win was nice, but to get it by shutout made it super nice."
Jackson, who also scored Lamar's lone touchdown in the Sam Houston State game, admitted to feeling "a little more pressure" because of Hayes' absence.
"It wasn't an easy job playing without J.J. on the other side," said Jackson. "I appreciate the effort he gives in every game. He's a big part of our offense, and I'll be the happiest guy on the team when he gets back."
Langston drove 54 yards on 12 plays after receiving the opening kickoff, but the Cardinals' defense eventually stiffened, forcing a missed 33-yard field goal attempt by Anthony Fernandez.
Logan broke a 17-yard run - the Cardinals' longest of the season to that point - four plays deep into the ensuing possession, setting up Bevil's play-action pass to Jackson for the game's first touchdown. It covered 47 yards, then freshman kicker Justin Stout missed his first extra-point attempt of the season, leaving the Cards with a 6-0 lead with 5:40 left in the first quarter.
During the scoreless second quarter, the Cardinal defenders thwarted the Lions with Jordan Garrett's fumble recovery and Branden Thomas' block of a 37-yard field goal attempt. Then, on the next-to-last play of the half, the Lions were dismayed again when Fernandez's 23-yard field goal try ricocheted off the right upright.
Logan got 51 of his yards on seven first-half carries, and Miller passed for 152 yards on 11-of-22 accuracy. Bevil went 6-for-11 for 86 yards.
Lamar's first possession of the second half ended on Bevil interception, and the Cardinals were forced to punt on the second. Late in the third quarter, however, the Cards went on the move behind the passing of Bevil and the running of Kwabena Asante.
On consecutive plays, Bevil connected with Billy Chavis for 11 yards, Kendrick Prejean for 11 more and Chavis again for six yards to gain the Lions' 18-yard line. Three-straight runs by Asante advanced the ball to the nine-yard line, and a pass interference call gave the Cards a first-and-goal at the two.
From there, the stubborn Lions stuffed Asante on three-straight gouges into the middle of the line, and they did the same to Bevil on a sneak on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Cardinal defense countered with its own heroic stand, halting the Lions on downs on an incomplete Miller pass on fourth down from the 3-yard line.
The offense then responded with a brisk four-play, 97-yard drive ended by the Bevil-to-Jackson connection of 58 yards. Bevil then threw to Josh Powdrill in the right corner of the end zone for the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0 with 7:38 remaining.
The Cardinals will remain at home for the third-straight week next Saturday when they host the South Alabama Jaguars in a 6 p.m. game in newly-renovated Provost Umphrey Stadium.