Oct. 8, 2011
BEAUMONT - Northwestern State quarterback Brad Henderson completed 26 of 34 passes 290 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night, spoiling a brilliant receiving performance by Lamar University split end J.J. Hayes.
A senior split end from Diboll, Hayes caught 10 passes for a school-record 212 yards shattering the 192-yard record set by Herbert Harris in a 1981 game against Louisiana Teech. Hayes scored Lamar's final touchdown on a 40-yard pass from senior quarterback Andre Bevil in the fourth quarter, but the Demons iced the game by answering with a 54-yard pass and run play from Henderson to D.J. Palmer.
The start of Lamar's first home Southland Conference game was delayed one hour and 23 minutes by a power outage. The loss dropped the Cardinals to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in the conference, while Northwestern State improved to 3-3 and 1-2, respectively.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed in the outcome, but I'm very encouraged with way our players fought in the second half," said Lamar head coach Ray Woodard. "We made too many mistakes on both sides of the ball, but a lot of that was to Northwestern State's credit.
"We played with a lot fire and intensity, but we did a poor job defensively, especially in the second quarter (when the Demons outscored the Cardinals 20-0). The second quarter killed us."
The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Henderson distributed the ball well, completing at least one pass to 10 different receivers.
"The quarterback (Henderson) was more active against us tonight, than he was against McNeese State (in a 20-18 home loss) last week. He made a lot of big plays, especially on third down.
"We're a better defensive team on third and 2, than we are on third and 12. If we can get to halftime closer than the halftime score (27-7) was tonight, we'll have a much better chance of winning the game."
Bevil also threw a first-quarter touchdown pass of 8 yards to senior slot receiver Marcus Jackson
, and the Cardinals' other points came on a 26-yard field goal by sophomore Justin Stout
in the third quarter.
Henderson's other touchdown passes went 5 yards to Trevor Goodie and 19 yards to Phillip Harvey..
Cornerback Cortez Paige intercepted a Bevil pass on Lamar's first offensive play from scrimmage to set up the Demons' nine-play, 51-yard drive for the game's first score. It came on a 1-yard dive by Sidney Riley, who carried the ball on five plays as the Demons kept the ball on the ground for all but one play on the drive.
Jo Shauufghnessy's conversion made it 7-0 Demons with 9:25 remaining in the first quarter.
The Cardinals benefitted from a pair of 15-yard penalties on their ensuing eight-play, 60-yard drive to the matching touchdown. The payoff came on Bevil's 8-yard pass to Jackson in right back of the north end zone on the last offensive play of the first quarter.
A pair of offsides penalties helped the Demons as they answered with a 61-yard, 11-play touchdown drive on which Henderson went three-for-three in the passing department. He completed a 5-yarder to wide receiver Goodie for the touchdown, then defensive end Jesse Dickson broke through to block Shaughnessy's extra point attempt, leaving the score at 13-7 Demons with 9:47 left in the opening half.
Rumeal Morris broke a 53-yard off left tackle to spark the Demons on their seven-play, 66-yard drive to their third touchdown of the evening. It gained the Lamar 13-yard line, but the Cardinal defense eventually pushed the Demons into a third-and goal situation from the 19-yard line.
Henderson then connected with Harvey on a 19-yard, over-the-middle pass for the touchdown that put the Demons up 20-7 with 3:49 left in the half. After forcing a Cardinal punt, the Demons stretched their halftime lead to 27-7 on Riley's 5-yard run to complete a seven-play, 76-yard scoring drive.
The Demons dominated the first-half statistics, rolling up 16 first downs to Lamar's nine, and they outgained the Cardinals 270-118 in total yards. Henderson completed 15 of his 18 first-half passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while Bevil went 8-for-15 for 97 yards and the lone touchdown.
A 44-yard run by Octavious Logan on the second play of the third quarter moved the Cardinals into scoring territory, but they wound up having to settle for Stout's 26-yard field goal that reduced their deficit to 27-10 with 12:40 left in the period.