Cardinals upset Lions in fourth quarter

Scoring 38 points wasn’t enough to put the Lions in the win column against the Lamar Cardinals.

The game was held in Strawberry Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1. It marked the Lion’s second conference game of the year.

The contest started off with a 31-yard pass from junior quarterback Brian Young to senior wide receiver Simmie Yarborough, bringing them down to Lamar’s 28-yardline. The Lions drove the ball down to Lamar’s 16, before junior running back Zeke Jones had the ball stripped away by Cardinal linebacker Asim Hicks.

The Lions started their next drive at their own 43-yardline, but a pass from Young to senior wide receiver Kory Theodore spotted the ball at Lamar’s 17-yardline. After a false start penalty and a sack, the Lions ended up on the Cardinals 26-yardline, when Sam Fairley found a gap in the defense and took it in for the score.

The Cardinals struck back at the 5:40 mark in the first quarter, when quarterback Andre Bevil found wide receiver Marcus Jackson for a 44-yard touchdown. Junior linebacker Tay Alford blocked the extra point attempt, leaving the score at 7-6.

The ensuing kickoff was returned by redshirt freshman running back Jordan Wells for a return of 67-yards. Setting up shop at Lamar’s 33-yardline, the Lion’s got down to the four-yard line before Jones fumbled the ball, and Hicks recovered.

“Offensively we have to hold onto the football. We had three fumbles and three interceptions, and five of those ended in turnovers,” said Head Coach Mike Lucas.

The Cardinals moved the ball to their own 39 with a 25-yard scramble by Bevil. Lamar chipped away at the field position before a four-yard rush by running back Octavious Logan and the completed extra point attempt put the Cardinals up 7-13.

The Lions quickly retaliated with a 51-yard catch by senior wide receiver Brandon Collins found the end zone. The extra point attempt was good and left the score at 14-13.

The Cardinals turned the ball over on an interception by junior defensive back Robert Alford, which set up the Lions at the Cardinals 29. The Lions advanced the ball only six yards, settling for a field goal by sophomore kicker Seth Sebastian. After several possession changes the Lions went into the half leading 17-13.

The third quarter saw sophomore running back LaTruan Weary rush for a 38 yarder, putting the Lions up 24-13. The touchdown was Weary’s first of his career. Bevil and the Cardinals responded with a short two-yard pass to wide receiver Payden McVey, which brought the score to 24-20. The Cardinals scored one more time in the quarter, on a trick play where wide receiver Marcus Jackson threw a pass to wide receiver J.J. Hayes for 62 yards, which put the Cardinals on top for the first time in the game, 24-27.

The fourth quarter scoring opened with a touchdown pass from Bevil to wide receiver Mike Venson, and a 6-yard rush by Logan. The Lion’s returned the favor on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Young, bringing the score to 31-41. A 29-yard pass from Bevil to Jackson opened the score to 31-48. The Lions couldn’t catch up, but a pass from Young to freshman wide receiver Dean Johnson put the final touches on the game, the Lions losing 38-48.

“Really, I can’t tell you what went wrong.  Maybe someone tried to more than what they were supposed to, or maybe someone got too tired to hang with their man,” said Robert Alford, a junior defensive back. “But just as a defense we have to get better. They say defense wins games, so we have to really come out and dominate.”

Alford also talked about the game plan against Bevil.

“We practiced it all week. We knew coming into the game he was a scrambling quarterback. When they scramble, you have to watch the receivers,” said Alford. “You have to depend on your teammate that they’ll get him. That’s how we went into the game, and that’s how we played. “