Bearkat football team hunts for third straight win over Lamar as teams square off in Beaumont
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 00:10
The Sam Houston State football team (5-2 overall, 3-1 SLC) squares off against the Lamar Cardinals (3-5 overall, 0-3 SLC) for the 34th time this Saturday, as Bearkat Nation continues to close the gap in the Southland Conference standings.
The Cardinals remain winless in conference contests, after coming out on the wrong end of a 24-14 bout courtesy of Central Arkansas last week. Lamar has been outscored religiously in their five losses this season, 179-60. However, they did manage to keep the UCA match somewhat close, despite playing without the Cardinal offensive nucleus that is Wide Receiver Kevin Johnson and Running Back Herschel Sims. The pair has combined for 13 of Lamar's 23 touchdowns so far this season.
Caleb Berry made his third consecutive start at quarterback for the Cardinals at UCA, finishing 11 of 19 for 96 yards. The new signal caller added a seven-yard touchdown scramble, and has passed 43-of-83 for 456 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions through his three starts. Junior DePauldrick Garrett is also an engine in the Cardinals backfield not to be taken lightly, coming up nine yards short of back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances. He saw plenty of daylight in the game against McMurry two weeks ago, gaining 104 yards on just 10 carries; before finishing with 91 yards on 25 carries against UCA.
The Bearkats have a 23-9-1 advantage in the series, which includes a combined offensive explosion of 104-10 in the last two wins. Sam Houston has taken seven of the last eight meetings between the schools in a series dating back to 1935.
Lamar is facing back-to-back FCS ranked opponents for the first time since returning to the football field for the 2010 season. After falling to No. 17 Central Arkansas, they welcome the Bearkats this weekend, who are ranked No. 5 in the nation.
Top ranked Sam Houston State is rolling into Beaumont with nothing but momentum, securing a four game winning streak with their 45-10 win over McNeese State in front of 10,155 fans last Saturday. This marked the first time in the history of the series that Sam Houston defeated the Cowboys in back-to-back calendar years.
Timothy Flanders, a well-known name in the Sam stable, now ranks as the ninth all-time leading rusher in Southland history with 3,264 yards. He also stands No. 5 in Southland career rushing touchdowns with 43 and casually accomplished his 19th career 100-yard rushing game against McNeese with 19 carries, 105 yards and a visit to the end zone.
Bearkat Quarterback Brian Bell now has 4,840 yards to rank behind Rhett Bomar (5,964 yards 2007-08) and Arthur Louis (4,902 yards in 1977-80) in career passing yards at Sam Houston. He is also No. 2 in all-time Sam Houston career total offense with a total of 5,569 yards (591 yards behind Bomar).
Bearkat Safety Darnell Taylor led the ungenerous defense with six solo and two assisted tackles in the McNeese victory, becoming only the fourth SHSU defender to record more than 200 career solo stops.
Another vital presence in the third layer of the defense, Darius Taylor, will be sitting out the Lamar game; serving a one-game suspension issued by the Southland Conference after an alleged illegal hit against Nicholls State. Although Sam Houston will miss Taylor’s conference leading 11.5 tackles for lost yardage, they should have no problem handling the Cardinals for the third straight year.
From here on out, it will be a three-team race for the Conference title between SHSU, UCA and Southeastern Louisiana. For more information on ticket purchases, visit gobearkats.com. Kickoff is set for 3p.m. this Saturday in Beaumont.