Oct. 26, 2013
HAMMOND, La. -
Lamar scored on two of its first three possessions to jump out to a 14-0 lead at Southeastern Louisiana Saturday night but was unable to dent the scoreboard again until late in the third quarter as the Lions rattled off 42 unanswered points for the victory. The 56-34 decision is Lamar's third consecutive setback to start Southland Conference play.
"You have to give credit to Southeastern Louisiana tonight," said Lamar head coach Ray Woodard. "They are a real good football team, and they did more things right than we did. I'm proud of how our guys played. I really felt like we fought hard. We play three of our final four games at home, and are looking forward to that but it is time to win some games."
The Cardinals (3-5/0-3 SLC) recorded 163 of their 226 first-half yards of total offense on the two scoring drives. Lamar opened the game with a seven-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown pass to junior Mark Roberts. It was Roberts' fourth TD catch of the season. He finished the game with three catches for 71 yards.
Lamar added its second touchdown of the game following a James Washington interception. Oregon transfer Bryan Bennett moved Southeastern Louisiana down to the LU 29 yard line before Washington forced Bennett's seventh interception of the season. The Cardinals took advantage of the miscue by moving the ball 71 yards on 10 plays which ended with a 19-yard scoring strike from Berry to freshman Michael Handy.
Following the Handy touchdown, Southeastern flipped the momentum on the Cardinals scoring on their next three drives to take a 21-14 lead with 5:32 remaining in the opening half. Bennett, who started the game 0-for-3, connected on 10 of his next 13 passes as the Lions went on to score 42 unanswered points before Lamar got back on the scoreboard.
SLU's Bennett finished the game completing 15 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 11 times for 95 yards.
Lamar recorded 449 yards of total offense, while the Lions finished the game with 566. Lamar's 34 points are the most against Southeastern by a Southland team this season.
Berry completed 26-of-41 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns. He connected with nine different receivers, including sophomore Reggie Begelton who led all receivers with eight catches for 103 yards. Freshman Kade Harrington led a strong Lamar ground attack with 19 carries for 100 yards. It is his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and leaves him only 34 yards shy of breaking the school's all-time freshman rushing record (Sammy Carpenter in 1951). Harrington also hauled in five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Senior Payton Ploch added 65 yards and a score on nine carries. Senior Jesse Dickson led the defensive effort with nine tackles, including three for losses.
The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday, Nov. 2, when they return home to host Nicholls State. The game against the Colonels is set to begin at 6 p.m. from Provost Umphrey Stadium.