Oct. 15, 2011
SAN MARCOS - Former Silsbee standout Jeremy Johnson compiled 134 yards of total offense Saturday night, but Texas State had already done irreversible damage in the opening 30 minutes as Lamar University fell to the Bobcats 46-21.
In rolling to the highest scoring total in the 22-game series between the schools, the Bobcats scored 35 first-half points and dominated the Cardinals in most statistical categories.
The Bobcats finished with 535 yards of total offense, and they limited the Cardinals to 246. Texas State accumulated 24 first downs to Lamar's 13, and the Bobcats had the ball for 37:29 to the Cardinals' 22:31.
"I have to do a better job of preparing our team to play in the first half," said Ray Woodard, Lamar's head coach. "That's on me.
"We didn't play well in any phase of the game in the first half. The energy and effort we played with in the second half was much better, but we had too big of hill to climb. We are going to have to a better job so as to give our team a chance to win."
Johnson passed 12 yards to slot receiver Marcus Jackson for the Cardinals' first touchdown of the second half, and he broke a 59-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. After replacing starter Andre Bevil at quarterback early in the third quarter, he finished with a net of 53 rushing yards on seven carries, and he completed three of five passes for 81 yards.
"I inserted Jeremy into the game in the second in the hopes that he could give the team a spark," said Woodard. "It wasn't that Andre had done anything wrong. We were just looking for a spark, and Jeremy did his part to give us one."
Sophomore Caleb Harmon of Port Neches-Groves scored the Cardinals' other touchdown with a three-yard run in the second quarter.
The Bobcat Stadium crowd of 15,028 witnessed a sterling, all-round performance by Texas State quarterback Shaun Rutherford. The 6-foot junior from Bay City completed 17 of 26 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception, and he tacked on 57 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Jackson, a senior from Tyler Lee by way of Navarro College, was the game's leading receiver with four catches for 119 yards.
Tim Hawkins ran for two touchdowns and caught an 8-yard scoring pass for the Bobcats, who improved to 5-2 on the season, Chase Harper caught scoring passes of 12 and 34 yards. Lamar's second straight loss dropped the Cardinals' record to 3-3.
Texas State scored on its first five possessions in building the Bobcats' 35-7 halftime bulge. The Bobcats compiled 275 total yards to the Cardinals' 103. Rutherford finished the opening half at 12-for-17 for 173 yards and three touchdowns, and he added 41 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, Bevil was 7-for-17 for 93 yards, and he was sacked three times. He had a negative 12 yards on seven first-half carries. His only second-half attempt fell incomplete.
Rutherford went 5-for-5 for 55 yards on the Bobcats' nine-play, 66-yard scoring drive on their opening possession. He completed it with the 12-yard pass to Harper with 8:53 left in the first quarter.
After a short Lamar punt, the Bobcats needed only four plays to move 38-yards for the touchdown that extended their early lead to 14-0. Hawkins scored it from 8 yards out with 6:52 left in the first period.
Lamar managed only four yards of total offense on 11 first-quarter plays, and the second quarter began with Bobcats on the Cardinals' 14-yard line. Four plays later, the Bobcats went up 21-0 on Rutherford's 8-yard TD pass to Hawkins.
A 12-yard pass from Rutherford to Harper set up Hawkins' second scoring run of the evening, a 2-yarder that ran the Cardinals' deficit to 28-0 with 10:30 left in the half.
Harper was wide open streaking down the right sideline when he hauled in his second touchdown pass - a 34-yarder from Rutherford with 6:55 left in the second quarter -- to run the score to 35-0.
The Cardinals stopped their bleeding with an eight-play, 67-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 38-yard Bevil pass to Jackson and a big first-down reception for 14 yards by J.J. Hayes that moved the ball to the 3-yard line. Two plays later, Harmon scored his first collegiate touchdown from 3 yards out to reduce Lamar's deficit to 35-7 with 3:33 left in the second quarter.
Johnson guided the Cardinals 74 yards on five plays as they scored the only points of the third quarter on Johnson's 12-yard pass to Jackson. Earlier, the two combined on a 62-yard pass and run play to move the Cardinals into the red zone.
Will Johnson's 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter upped the Bobcats' lead to 38-14, and Johnson retaliated with his 59-yard, open field scamper less than a minute later to make it 38-21.
Cornerback Darryl Morris' sack of Johnson in the south end zone for a safety increased the Bobcats' advantage to 40-21, and Chris Nuthall's 14-yard run on the final play accounted for the game's final points.
The Cardinals will resume Southland Conference play next Saturday with their 2011 Homecoming Game against the University of Central Arkansas. Kickoff is set for 3:05 p.m. in Beaumont's 16,000-seat Provost Umphrey Stadium.