Crawfish Bowl goes to red team on intercpetion return

GO CARDINALS <strong>Caleb Berry passed for 214 yards on 18 completions Tuesday evening</strong>
Caleb Berry passed for 214 yards on 18 completions Tuesday evening

April 16, 2013

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BEAUMONT - For the second straight year, Lamar's annual spring football game, known as the Crawfish Bowl, went to overtime.

In 2012, a Ryan Mossakowski touchdown pass proved to be the winning points. Mossakowski had his hand in the victory this year as well, but it was his interception which Keith Wilson returned 80 yards that proved to be the difference Tuesday evening at Provost Umphrey Stadium.

The white team got the ball first in overtime, but on second-and-10, Mossakowski was intercepted at the 20-yard line by Wilson. The defensive back out of Livingston took it the distance to hand his red squad a 12-6 victory in the final performance for the Cardinals this spring.

"I didn't think he was going to throw it to him, but then I saw the ball go in there," said Wilson. "He threw it there, and then all I needed to do was catch and run. The only thing that was on my mind was to run and not stop. End zone was all we needed, and that's where I was trying to get to."

Junior quarterback Caleb Berry, who finished 18-of-25 for 214 yards, led a scoring drive on the opening possession of the contest. Berry hit Jayce Nelson for 22 yards on the opening play of the game and would complete eight passes on the drive to set up a first-and-10 from the 11-yard line.

A pitch attempt from Berry to Payton Ploch on third-and-six never materialized and Berry had to jump on the fumble at the white team's 18-yard line. Alex Ball trotted on the field and knocked down a 35-yard field goal to give the red squad a 3-0 lead.

The score would remain 3-0 until the third quarter when the white team's Justin Stout connected from 21 yards out with 3:57 to play to even the score at 3-3. The field goal capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive in which sophomore running back Desmond Richards picked up 45 of his game-high 86 yards rushing with 39 yards coming on one carry.

Both teams managed field goals in the fourth quarter with the red team striking first. Payton Ploch, who rushed for 26 yards on the night, was stopped for no gain on first-and-10 from the white team's 25-yard line. Berry was sacked by Keith Curran for a 5-yard loss on second down and his pass to Ploch fell incomplete on third down. Ball was good from 47 yards out to give the red squad a 6-3 lead with 6:43 to play in the game.

The white team struck right back as Stout hit a 39-yarder with 3:10 to play in regulation to tie the contest at 6-6. Richards ripped off a 17-yard run to give the white team a first-and-10 from the 11-yard line. Mark Murrill, who finished with four tackles and a sack, then made two big plays to hold the white squad to a field goal attempt.

On first down, Murrill stuffed running back Jair Williamson for a three-yard loss. After a Mossakowski incompletion, Murrill sacked the senior quarterback for a loss of eight yards back to the 22-yard line.

Berry looked as though he might lead the red team down for a score on the ensuing drive, but after hooking up with wide receiver/punter Kollin Kahler for a 27-yard pass play, Kahler was hit by Nashon Davis and fumbled at the opposing 26-yard line. Davis recovered to shut down the drive.

Each team had one more possession in regulation, but neither team could get into scoring range.

Berry hit six different receivers on the night with Kahler and Kelechi Ejekam each snaring four passes. Kahler led all players with 68 receiving yards and Nelson finished with 57 yards on three catches for the red team.

"I was kind of disappointed that we didn't get the ball into the end zone, but we got the win and I have to be happy about that," said Berry. "I think we've improved tremendously on both sides of the ball, even if it doesn't really show on the scoreboard.

"I'm going to stay in the film room and watch film every day to see how I can get better. I think every quarterback would like to have the starting job, and I'm just going to keep competing with Ryan."

Mossakowski, who was sacked twice on the night, finished 9-of-26 for 78 yards with the one interception which proved to be the difference. Jesse Sparks finished with four catches for 46 yards to lead the white team.

Junior transfer Adam Curran picked up three of the white team's six sacks on the evening. The 51 yards of loss created by the white team's defense helped hold the red team to just 43 net rushing yards on 25 carries. Xavier Bethany and Logan Moss each had sacks for the white team, as well. Bethany led all players with nine tackles on the night.

Senior linebacker Jermaine Longino, who led Lamar with 107 total tackles in 2012, finished with six tackles to pace the red team. In addition to Murrill's sack, Mike Hargis registered a sack for the red squad.

Lamar's 12-game regular season begins on Aug. 31 when Oklahoma Panhandle State pays a visit to Provost Umphrey Stadium. The Cards' first Southland Conference home game will be Oct. 19 when Central Arkansas comes in for homecoming. For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715 or visit




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