Lamar Set to Face Stephen F. Austin

GO CARDINALS Lamar prepares for to host rival Stephen F. Austin
GO CARDINALS
Lamar prepares for to host rival Stephen F. Austin
GO CARDINALS

Nov. 14, 2013

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BEAUMONT, Texas - After coming up short at Northwestern State, the Lamar Cardinals return to Provost Umphrey Stadium looking to get back in the win column, but will face the high-octane offense of the Stephen F. Austin. The game against the Lumberjacks is slated to kick off at 6 p.m. from Provost Umphrey Stadium.

The Cardinals enter the week with a 4-6 (.400) overall record and in a three-way tie for sixth in the Southland Conference standings with a 1-4 (.200) record, along with SFA (3-7/1-4 SLC). For the second consecutive week, Lamar will be facing a team that they are tied with in the league standings.

LU enters the week having dropped four of it last five games, with the lone win during that stretch being a 56-34 victory over Nicholls State. The Lumberjacks are trying to end a three-game slide that hasn't seen them win since recording a 55-41 victory over Nicholls.

"It's always good to be home," said head coach Ray Woodard. "We're coming off a loss that stung. The challenge this week has been to put that loss behind us, make the corrections and get ready for Stephen F. Austin. This is a team that we've played every year (since bringing the program back), and it's a game that our fans look forward to. SFA really moves the football around and they score a lot of points."

Although the Cardinals own the all-time series between the two schools, it is SFA who has had success in the series lately. The `Jacks have won all three contests since Lamar brought back football. The Cardinals last win in the series came during the 1987 season.

The 2013 campaign has been a record-setting one for the Cardinals. Fourteen team and individual records have either been tied for broken during the year. Juniors Caleb Berry and Kevin Johnson and freshman Kade Harrington have led the charge when it comes to setting new records. Berry became the school's single-season leader in touchdown passes earlier this year, and is only two completions away from setting another single-season record. In the game Berry broke the TD pass record, Harrington also became the school's single-season leader for rushing yards by a freshman. He also tied a single-game scoring record in that same game as well. Against the Demons, Johnson became the school's all-time leader in punt returns for touchdowns.

But the Cardinals will be stepping on the field against a Lumberjack team has become accustomed to setting new records. SFA enters the week ranked second in the nation in total offense (583.2 ypg), and tops in the country in passing (401.1 ypg). Led by senior quarterback Brady Attaway, SFA has three receivers ranked among the league's top four in receptions and receiving yards.

"SFA scores a lot of points on everybody," said Woodard. "Their lowest output against an FCS school is 14 against Southeastern Louisiana, but other than that they have hung nearly 40 on everyone this season. They are ranked nationally in just about every offense category.

"Brady Attaway is a very talented quarterback and does a great job leading that team. The other thing they are doing a much better of this year is running the ball. Against Sam Houston, Gus Johnson had over 100 yards rushing in the first half alone. We all know that Sam (Houston) has one of the top defenses in the nation. In addition to that, historically, they have defended us really well," added Woodard.

Despite the Lumberjacks ability to put points on the board, they have struggled to stop teams this year. SFA's defense has struggled at times surrendering better than 50 points per contest, and currently ranks eighth in total defense (533.3 ypg) and pass defense (333.0 ypg) and seventh in the conference in rush defense (200.3 ypg).

Several promotions will be taking place in and around the stadium prior to kick off. James Blackshear will performing outside the stadium beginning at 4 p.m. The concert will last until 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Kids Zone will be opened beginning at 3:30 p.m., with the LU track and field and cross country teams on hand to paint faces and sign autographs. The Kids Zone is for children ages 12 years and younger.

Lamar has teamed up with PODS of Beaumont to hold a Thanksgiving Food Drive, to support the Southeast Texas Food Bank. PODS containers will serve and main collection point and will be located next to the band area at the Northwest side of the Montagne Center. The first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Lamar koozie, and there will be skydivers prior to kickoff. Following the game, tailgating will remain open for the fans until midnight.

-LAMAR-

 

 

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