Lamar football needs good showing on Saturday

Unless you were a coach on the Lamar staff or one of the players, you probably thought the Cardinals had a small chance of beating Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday in the college football season opener. I mean, UL plays in the bigger Football Bowl Subdivision won a bowl game last season. No way, right?What we didn’t expect to see were a plethora of mistakes which led to many easy points and short drives for UL. The 13 points yielded by Lamar in the first quarter came on drives no longer than six plays each.

The second quarter was just as bad for the offense. The Cards could never sustain any drives, thus UL piled on 27 more points for a 40-0 halftime lead which ended up being the final score.

There weren’t many positives on offense. Third-year coach Ray Woodard used backup quarterback Caleb Berry in the second quarter, but nothing changed. Kentucky transfer Ryan Mossakowski started and his stat line was 12-19 for 81 yards. Berry was 6-10 for 75 yards with an interception and the offensive line allowed three sacks.

Lamar Cardinal Barry Ford’s name was called several times. The former Kirbyville Wildcat led all receivers with a game-high five catches for 48 yards.Oklahoma State transfer Herschel Sims totaled 42 yards on 14 carries and DePauldrick Garrett added 35 yards on seven totes.

Junior defensive back Chad Allen made his presence felt early and often. He led both teams with a total of nine tackles.

Like we said earlier, not many expected Lamar to defeat UL, but we expected more out of Lamar. No signs of improvement were seen. Maybe it was because Lamar was playing up in competition.

But several other Southland Conference teams played up in competition last week, including McNeese State, who went on the road and beat Middle Tennessee State, 27-21. MTSU is in the same conference as UL.

Central Arkansas held a 20-14 halftime lead over Ole Miss (SEC) before losing 49-27. Other scores included Northwestern State losing to Texas Tech, 44-6, and Southeastern Louisiana dropping a 62-10 decision at Missouri.

Let’s forget last week. Lamar now is on an even playing field when the Cardinals host Prairie View A&M on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Provost Umphrey Stadium. PVAM comes to Beaumont after losing a heartbreaker to rival Texas Southern, 44-41. TSU kicked a field goal as time expired to win the Labor Day Classic at Reliant Stadium.

It’s a new week. It’s the first home game against a team at the same level and the Cards will be jacked. They will catch the Panthers of PVAM at the right time, who are coming off a last- second loss against their conference rival.

The Cards can set the tone for the rest of the season on Saturday. With a trip to Hawaii next week, LU doesn’t want to head to the beach with a 0-2 record.

The offense needs to show improvement. We heard about the names during the offseason and now the hype needs to translate into results. I can think of no better time than this week for Lamar to show what it’s made of. Wins over Langston and McMurry won’t satisfy fans or critics.

Hopefully Woodard can find a quarterback he likes and sticks with him. I’ve never been a fan of the dual-quarterback system.

MMA

On a note of local interest, Texas Rage in the Cage Amateur Association will hold its next mixed martial arts event Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Beaumont Civic Center. Tickets are $40, $30 and $25 and can be purchased at the Civic Center box office and other Ticketmaster locations including HEB on Dowlen Road, ticketmaster.com and charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000.

The main event pits Port Arthur’s own Joel Scott (4-1) vs. David Salazar (1-1) for the TRCAA featherweight championship. Salazar is a last-minute replacement for John Rodriguez, who was injured during training.

The co-main event features Will Spidle (3-1) of American Top Team-Beaumont vs. Aaron Gomez (2-2). The entire card will be announced next week.It’s been a while since we last had some MMA on the television, after UFC 151 was canceled when light heavyweight champion Jon Jones wouldn’t take on a new opponent when Dan Henderson injured himself during training.

That will all change next week. Beaumont’s Cody Williams (3-2) will fight Steve Peterson (7-2) at Legacy FC 14 on Friday, Sept. 14, which will be shown live on AXS TV (formerly HDNet). On the under card, one of Williams’ ATT-Beaumont teammates, Ryan Spann, will make his pro debut against Charlie Ontiveros, who is also making his professional debut.

Also that night, the UFC presents “The Ultimate Fighter 16” on FX with coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson. There will be one 32-man welterweight tournament that narrows the contestants down to 16, which will then be drafted into two teams of eight — one coached by Nelson and the other by Carwin. Boring.

Chad Cooper can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at cooper [at] theexaminer [dot] com

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