Cards Win 3rd Straight, spoils SFA Homecoming

Published 9:55 am Monday, October 29, 2018

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Junior quarterback Jordan Hoy rushed for 225 yards in his first career start to lead Lamar University to a 24-17 victory at Stephen F. Austin on Homecoming Saturday afternoon at Homer Bryce Stadium. The victory – LU’s third consecutive – moves the Cardinals back to .500 on the season (4-4/3-3 Southland).

The Cardinals finished the game with 441 yards of total offense, including 369 on the ground. Hoy finished the day with 21 carries for 225 yards and two scores, including a season-long 68-yard rush. He completed 11-of-16 passes for 72 yards. SFA finished the day with 420 yards of offense.

“This was a hard-fought win,” said LU head coach Mike Schultz. “This is a good football team and it’s always tough to win up here. Their record doesn’t indicate just how good of a team they are.”

Sophomore Myles Wanza added 16 carries for 85 yards, while A.J. Walker had 14 for 45.

Senior Rodney Randle led the Cards’ defensive effort with 15 total tackles, while junior Daniel Crosley had five tackles, including 3.5 for losses, and 1.5 sacks. He also had two QB hurries, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

“Our defense as a whole, was huge today,” said Schultz. “The game was still hanging in the balance late and our guys made some big stops.”

The Cardinals got a 23-yard run from Hoy on their first play from scrimmage, but drive ended with a fumble deep in SFA territory. The turnover led to a drive that had the ‘Jacks line up for a 28-yard field goal which was blocked by Dedrick Garner – third week in a row the Cardinals’ special teams have recorded a block. Big Red’s offense turned the stop into momentum driving the ball down the field for the game’s first score. The nine-play, 80-yard drive consumed 2:42 off the clock and ended with a two-yard run from Hoy. The score was set up by a 44-yard scamper from Hoy to move the ball into Lumberjack territory.

The Cardinals added to their lead midway through the second quarter when Hoy kept the ball on the third play of the drive and carried 68 yards for the score – his second of the game. The rush was also the longest by a Cardinal this season. Big Red also tacked on a field goal before halftime to take a 17-0 lead into the locker room.

The Cardinals hung nearly 300 yards of total offense on their hosts in the first 30 minutes, including 240 yards on the ground. Hoy led the Cardinals ground attack with 13 carries for 192 yards and two scores. He also completed 7-of-10 passes (.700) for 54 yards.

LU’s defense was just as tough holding the Lumberjacks to 146 yards of offense. SFA could manage just 59 yards on the ground in the opening half of action.

The Lumberjacks finally dented the scoreboard with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter when SFA’s Jake Blumrick found Tamrick Pace in the back-left corner of the end zone. The score trimmed LU’s advantage to 10, 17-7.

SFA got the ball back and moved it deep into Cardinal territory but on 2nd-and-goal from the seven, Blumrick was dropped by Crosley who jarred the ball loose and recovered it on the LU 18. The Cardinals cashed the turnover in for points seven plays later in a drive that consisted of 6, 8, 17, 12, 7, 19 and 9-yard plays. The scoring play had a few heart-stopping moments as junior A.J. Walker got the carry and took it down to the two before losing the football. It was recovered by senior Dewan Thompson, Jr. as he fell into the end zone.

SFA was able to take the next possession and move it down into Big Red territory before the drive stalled and the ‘Jacks were forced to settle for a 46-yard field goal. After forcing a stop, the Lumberjacks were back on the march less than four minutes later when Blumrick found Pace for a 13-yard scoring strike. The TD trimmed the lead to seven points, 24-17, with 9:16 remaining. SFA had several chances late in the game to tie but the defense didn’t allow the ‘Jacks to move the ball.

The Cardinals return to action Saturday, Nov. 3, when they travel to Conway, Ark., to take on nationally ranked Central Arkansas. The game against the Bears will kick off at 6 p.m. from Estes Stadium.