Cards Record First Win for New Coach
BEAUMONT, Texas – Only two other times in program history has a Lamar University football team scored more points than it did Saturday night as the Cardinal ousted Texas-Permian Basin, 72-6, in its home opener. The Cardinals improved to 1-1 as new head coach Mike Schultz recorded his first career win.
The 72-point outburst was the most points for the Cardinals since scoring 73 against Texas College in 2014.
“It’s always good to get your first win,” said Schultz. “The kids were very excited about that. We had some things that we targeted coming into the week that we wanted to get better at and I felt like we hit some of those. We will know more within the next 24 hours when we get a chance to study the film. I thought we did better at stopping the run tonight. Early on we had some foolish penalties that really hurt us. Any time you take points off the board because of penalties, those are things that have to be corrected immediately. We still have a long way to go.”
“It’s going to start getting tough. We open conference play this week at Northwestern State. We are going to be playing some very tough teams. We have to take this and see where we can get better,” added Schultz.
The Cardinals hung 642 yards of total offense on their opponents, while holding the Falcons to less than 150. Big Red rushed for 396 yards on the night just 58 shy of a single-game record set during the 1960 season. LU finished the night with five players who rushed for more than 60 yards, led by sophomore Kendrick King’s 15 carries for 93 yards.
Junior quarterback Darrel Colbert jr. was efficient behind center completing 18-of-23 (.783) passes for 190 yards and four touchdowns. He also carried the ball eight times for 69 yards and two scores. Colbert was a part of the team’s first six touchdowns. It wasn’t until 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter that the Red and White recorded a touchdown that Colbert wasn’t connect to (Andrew Allen nine-yard pass to Dorian Gaston).
Big Red’s defense was just as impressive. In addition to holding the Falcons to 141 yards, the Cardinals also forced two turnovers in the contest. Ten of UTPB’s possessions ended with a punt.
The Cards did a strong job of spreading the wealth defensively as 13 players recorded at least three tackles led by five from freshmen Kyle Kruchten and Darius Guillory and sophomore Titus Hunt. Kruchten also added two tackles for losses. Sophomore Daniel Crosley added four stops, including 2.5 TFLs.
Despite the victory, it wasn’t always pretty as the two teams combined for 17 penalties for 190 yards.
Although the Cardinals won in a rout, the game was not without a little suspense. After taking a 3-0 lead on freshman Elvin Martinez’s first career field goal (28 yards) midway through the first quarter, the Falcons responded quickly. Less than two minutes later, UTPB quarterback Caden Coots guided the Falcons down the field on four plays scoring on a three-yard run to give the visitors their first, and only, lead of the game. The Cardinals steamrolled their way to 69 unanswered points following the Permian Basin score.
LU closed out the contest with some late fireworks as junior Brandon Dabney picked off a pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with less than five minutes remaining in the game. After recording a stop the Cardinals got the ball back attempting to run out the clock, but freshman Cole Starnes took the ball and carried up the middle for a 67-yard score.
The Cardinals return to action Saturday when they open Southland Conference play at Northwestern State. The game against the Demons is slated to begin at 6 p.m. from Turpin Stadium.