The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

Lamar spoils Homecoming, Southeastern falls to 0-7

Troy Allen
Redshirt sophomore tight end Bauer Sharp attempts to make touchdown catch over defensive back Joshua Ofili. (Oct. 14, 2023 – Hammond)

Lamar University hung on to spoil Southeastern’s Homecoming 30-24 despite a strong second-half performance from the Lions. 

SLU drops to 0-7 (0-3 SLC) on the season and remains at the bottom of the Southland Conference standings with the loss. 

The Cardinals raced out to a 30-10 lead in the first half after four turnovers from SLU. The Green and Gold scored two touchdowns in the second half while pitching a shutout defensively; however, their great efforts left them just short of victory. 

“You have to be consistent, can’t turn the ball over, and that’s what we did. We turned the ball over four times in the first half and gave them a touchdown because of it; we can’t do that. You cannot expect to win when those things happen,” Head Coach Frank Scelfo said. 

Lamar’s quarterback Robert Coleman threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Wide receiver Sevonne Rhea had six catches for 133 yards and caught both touchdown passes from Coleman. 

Junior quarterback Zachary Clement completed 12 out of 18 passes and achieved a season-best 141 yards with a touchdown. Additionally, Clement led the Green and Gold in rushing yards with 58. On the other hand, redshirt sophomore quarterback Eli Sawyer threw for 210 yards and one touchdown but had two interceptions and a fumble during the game.

Sawyer was forced to exit the contest toward the end of the first half following a strip sack. The Alabama native appeared to injure his throwing shoulder on the play and never returned to the playing field. 

Junior wideout Xavier Hill also had a career day, with four receptions for 104 yards. In addition, redshirt junior wide receiver Darius Lewis caught two touchdown passes on the day and had 76 receiving yards. 

To open the game, Sawyer connected with junior running back Harlan Dixon for a 58-yard gain to put Southeastern on Lamar’s 17-yard line. After only a four-yard gain on third and 10, SLU settled for a field goal to give them an early 3-0 lead. 

The Cardinals received the ball on their 35-yard line on the next possession due to the kickoff going out of bounds. The Green and Gold made a defensive stand, and Lamar had to settle for a field goal of their own to tie the game with 8:17 remaining in the first quarter. 

On Southeastern’s next possession, Sawyer completed a deep pass across the middle to Hill for 32 yards. SLU continued their momentum down the field as Sawyer connected with Lewis for a 28-yard touchdown. After the extra point, the Lions took a 10-3 lead. 

Dixon fumbled the ball inside Lamar’s 40-yard line during Southeastern’s next drive. Defensive back K.J. Gilbert recovered it and returned 60 yards for a touchdown. The turnovers continued in the second quarter when Sawyer threw an interception to defensive back Kevin Anderson. 

Following several unsuccessful possessions, the Cardinals executed a seven-play drive culminating in a four-yard touchdown run by running back Major Bowden. This gave the Cards a 17-10 lead over SLU with 7:23 to play in the first half. 

Lamar returned on their subsequent possession and secured another touchdown with a 35-yard reception by Rhea; however, their lead was only 23-10 after a failed extra point attempt. 

Sawyer was intercepted again by defensive back Canden Grogan after the ball was tipped in the air off of intended SLU wide receiver Jaylon Domingeaux’s hands; the turnover led to another touchdown for Lamar. Coleman hit Rhea in stride deep down the right side of the field for a 37-yard score, and the Cardinals extended their lead to 30-10 entering the half.

With 6:51 remaining in the third quarter, the Lions executed a 12-play drive led by Clement. The possession ended with a touchdown run from redshirt sophomore tight end Bauer Sharp out of a wildcat formation.

Down 30-17 at the start of the fourth, Clement found Lewis in the end zone for a much-needed score. Unfortunately, this is the last time the Lions found paydirt. With 4:23 remaining in the fourth, the Cardinals managed to win after converting back-to-back third and longs to run out the clock.

“It’s nice to say we had a second-half shutout, but the scoreboard still says the same thing. I like the heart we showed in the second half, but we have to keep that the whole game and hold each other accountable,” sophomore defensive back Ian Conerly-Goodly said. 

This Thursday, Oct. 19, the Green and Gold will travel to Natchitoches for a game against Southland Conference rival Northwestern State Demons (NSU). The game has been rescheduled from its original date of Saturday, Oct. 21.

The Demons enter week eight of the season playing just five games due to the death of junior safety Ronnie Caldwell. 

Caldwell died last Thursday morning according to an article from ESPN. NSU canceled their game against Nicholls last Saturday due to the unexpectedness of the event and to mourn the loss of their fallen teammate. 

As the season starts to come to a close, both teams will look to get in the win column for the first time.

To catch the action, tune in on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. For more information on Lions football, visit The Lion’s Roar

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About the Contributors
Troy Allen, Staff Reporter
Troy Allen is a senior mass communication major with a concentration in sports journalism. He joined The Lion’s Roar as a staff reporter in September of 2022 with hopes of contributing to a great program. Troy plans to follow his passion for covering various sports like football, basketball and baseball. On his off days, he loves to hang out with friends and family, watch football and play video games.
Kennith Woods, News Editor
Kennith Woods is a sophomore communication major with a concentration in television and multimedia journalism and a creative writing minor. A resident of Prairieville, Kennith is The Lion’s Roar’s newly-minted news editor. His passion for progressive change within our communities is the driving factor behind his educational pursuits, as he wants to use journalism to facilitate vital information to the public and simultaneously serve as a mouthpiece for the people’s needs and concerns.
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