Cards fall 35-0 at McNeese in season finale
Nov. 17, 2012
LAKE CHARLES, La. - DePauldrick Garrett had a strong outing on Saturday night, but his career-best 112 yards on 23 carries went all for naught as the Lamar football team fell 35-0 to McNeese State at Cowboy Stadium.
Garrett was impressive early, rushing for 100 yards on 16 carries in the first half, and the final total of 112 represents the most by a Cardinal running back this season.
Darrell Harris also had a solid night rushing with 41 yards on eight carries, but a second quarter lost fumble by the freshman proved costly, as the Cowboy's capitalized to grab a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
After McNeese (7-4, 4-3 Southland) took over on their own 31-yard line, Marcus Wiltz rushed the ball four straight times to get down to the LU 41, and facing a fourth-and-short, Darius Carey took a direct snap out of the wildcat formation to move the chains once again for the Cowboys.
Cody Stroud then connected on back-to-back passes, finding Wes Briscoe for 11 yards and then rolling out to hit tight end Kegan Myers in stride for 25 down to the LU 3-yard line. Wiltz capped the drive with a one-yard dive and Josh Lewis booted the extra point to give McNeese the 7-0 advantage.
Wiltz ended the night with 15 carries for 72 yards, helping the Cowboys out-gain the Cards 264 to 149 on the ground.
Lamar looked to answer immediately, as Garrett and quarterback Caleb Berry methodically worked their way down the field. The duo combined to rush for 43 yards on the drive, getting down to the McNeese 13-yard line.
However, an illegal formation penalty moved the Cards back, and an incomplete pass and rush for no gain by Berry set up a third-and-long. McNeese's defense once again came up with the big play as Joe Narcisse sacked Berry for a 10-yard loss and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Cowboy defensive end Chris Loveless.
Loveless finished with three fumble recoveries, all in the first half, tying the Southland conference record.
It was the second lost fumble of the night for Berry, who ended the game 13-for-20 passing for 68 yards. He was also sacked six times. Barry Ford led the team in receiving with five catches for 39 yards. Jordan Edwards had four for 19.
The two sides would swap possessions over the final 11 minutes of the half as neither offense could quite crack the other's defense. That would change late as Stroud and McNeese wideout Dionta Spencer linked up twice inside of the half's final minute, with the second going 46 yards for another Cowboy score, sending the Cards into the break down 14-0.
After Lamar went three-and-out to start the second half, McNeese took advantage again as Stroud found Josh Jordan twice for for 39 yards and finished with a five yard toss to Kendale Thomas for the touchdown.
Stroud was 10-of-18 passing for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
From there on out, McNeese got it's ground game going. Following a Kollin Kahler punt to pin the Cowboys down at their own seven-yard line, Kelvin Bennett broke off a 93-yard touchdown to go up 28-0.
Lamar's best chance to score came in the opening drive of the fourth as they moved down to the McNeese 15, but it ultimately proved fruitless as Justin Stout missed a 32-yard field goal.
Darius Carey and the Cowboy offense answered on the next drive as the senior had a 33-yard carry early and finished with a 20-yard jaunt to put McNeese up 35-0.
Lamar ends the 2012 season with a 4-8 record and a 1-6 mark in Southland Conference play.