Lamar looks improved in second scrimmage

GO CARDINALS <strong>Jesse Dickson and his defensive line mates played well Saturday</strong>
Jesse Dickson and his defensive line mates played well Saturday

Aug. 18, 2012

BEAUMONT - Lamar held its second scrimmage of the fall preseason Saturday evening at Provost Umphrey Stadium with the offense putting up 33 points and the defense making several impressive plays.

Head coach Ray Woodard'sCardinals ran approximately 90 plays. The first 11 series saw the offense take the ball at its own 30-yard line, while the final six series had the offense begin at the opposing 25-yard line.

"We improved from last week," said Woodard. "We were much sharper, but we're not there yet with our execution. This will be a very important week. It will be the first full week that we get to put in with no school, so we'll get to get in eight practices in six days. It's not good enough right now. We have to come out here and stay focused because we're not ready yet."

Early on, the Cardinals' first-team defense dominated the action. With defensive linemen John Prescott, Blake Chavis and Jesse Dicksonapplying the pressure, the Lamar offense was held to three straight three-and-outs.

The Lamar offense broke through for a score on the fourth series as the running game got going. Five straight runs got the ball past midfield before sophomore running back Herschel Simstook a carry around the right end for a 46-yard score.

"It was a good play call by Coach (Larry) Kueck," said Sims who carried seven times for 59 yards on the night. "The right side sealed off the end, and I was able to bounce off, take it outside and stride for the end zone. It just feels good to be out here on the field practicing and playing as a team.

"I feel like we did pretty well. There's always room for improvement, so it's a good thing that we have two weeks left to prepare for our first game. I feel like we came out, worked on the little things and took a step forward."

Four quarterbacks worked out under center with junior transfer Ryan Mossakowski and sophomore Caleb Berrygetting most of the playing time. Mossakowski finished 10-for-22 for 80 yards, while Berry was 9-of-12 for 73 yards. Both quarterbacks passed for a touchdown, as well.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Dillon Barrettlooked strong in his first series as he moved the offense down to the opposing 24-yard line. However, on first down, Barrett's pass was intercepted by freshman Ronnie Jones and returned 47 yards.

The Cards' second score came on a Mossakowski 8-yard strike to converted wide receiver Payton Ploch. Mossakowski had his best series of the night as he went 5-for-5 for 53 yards on the 70-yard drive. Junior running back DePauldrick Garrett, who had 28 yards on seven carries, chipped in with a 15-yard scamper on the drive.

The final touchdown of the evening was a one play drive with Berry scrambling out of the pocket and hitting tight end Jacob Hannafor a 25-yard scoring strike. Hanna finished his night with seven catches for 82 yards and the one score.

Senior linebacker Marcus Malbrough had the biggest hit of the evening as he delivered a crushing blow to freshman running back Darrell Harris that not only knocked the ball lose, but separated Harris from his helmet. The fumble was recovered by defensive back Branden Thomaswho returned it 43 yards to the 2-yard line.

Malbrough accounted for two of the defense's five sacks on the night. Chavis and Prescott combined for one on the first series of the night, while Dickson and Prescott each had sacks later in the contest.

"I had a good start," said Chavis. "Coach always tells me to come out and try and get the defense fired up. I tried to come out with some energy today to get us going. I just like coming out here and trying to as much as I can for the team. We got going early, and it kind of carried on through the scrimmage."

Lamar's other 12 points came on a quartet of field goals with Justin Stout hitting three and Juventino Sanchezmaking one. Stout connected from 28, 31 and 36 yards, and missed a 48-yard try. Sanchez hit a 32-yarder and missed from 41 yards out.

Lamar opens the season at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. The Cardinals' home opener will be the following Saturday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m. when Prairie View A&M visits Provost Umphrey Stadium. Lamar will host five games following the Prairie View A&M contest. Highlights of the home schedule include the homecoming contest against McMurray at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and a Southland Conference game against national runner-up Sam Houston State at 3 p.m. Oct. 27.

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