, Port Arthur, Texas


November 9, 2013

Lamar out to make Demons second SLC victim

NATCHITOCHES, La. — Lamar will take on Northwestern State today with all eyes on the .500 mark for the season.

The game against the Demons is a matchup of two nearly identical teams looking to make a late-season climb up the Southland standings. Both programs enter the week with a 4-5 (.444) overall record, and locked in a four-way tie for fifth in the conference standings.

Adding to each’s identical nature, both enter the game having recently ended a three-game slide. The Cardinals ended their three-game conference skid with a record-setting victory over Nicholls State, while Northwestern State ended its slide with a three-point upset of nationally ranked Central Arkansas.

“I was really proud of what we did the first half against Nicholls," said head coach Ray Woodard. "We were able to score some points, and our depleted defense did a great job. That performance continued in the second half. I believe it is going to be like that the rest of the season. Every team in this conference moves the ball up the field and scores points. Northwestern State is no different. If someone steps up defensively, they should come out on top.

"The Demons are coming off a big win over Central Arkansas, and they are approaching this game in similar fashion to our guys. They are also looking to get a win this week, and try and make some late season noise," added Woodard.

In addition to previously mentioned similarities, neither has an advantage in the all-time history. The series is tied after 15 meetings, 7-7-1, but the Demons have had the upper hand lately winning the previous two meetings. The Cardinals have had the upper hand in Natchitoches, with a 3-2-1 (.583) record all-time at Northwestern State.

One constant that has remained throughout the season has been the strength of Lamar's defense.

Led by defensive lineman Jesse Dickson and defensive back Tyrus McGlothen, the Cardinals continue to lead the Southland Conference surrendering 365 yards per game.

Although he's ranked ninth in the conference averaging better than 7.2 tackles per game, Dickson is the only defensive lineman ranked in the league's top 25 in tackles. He also leads the league in tackles for losses (1.39 per game) and is tied for fifth in sacks (0.56 pg).

"Lamar has been in a lot of close games that they have had chances to win against some tough teams," said Northwestern State head coach Jay Thomas. "They took Louisiana Tech and Sam Houston State right down to the wire.

“Lamar's defense has played well all season. Their secondary is really strong and the defensive line plays aggressive. Jesse Dickson has put together a great season. They give you multiple looks and make it very tough to move the ball. Offensively, Lamar is very efficient. The quarterback, Caleb Berry, has been steady in the pocket and he has a ton of big playmakers."

Despite their impressive victory over nationally ranked Central Arkansas, the Demons have struggled at times offensively throughout the 2013 campaign. Northwestern State enters the week ranked eighth in the Southland in scoring and total offense.

Similar to Lamar, the Demons bring a very talented defense into the game. Northwestern State is ranked third in the Southland in total defense (384 ypg), and second — just behind Lamar — in pass defense (219.7 ypg).

Today's game is slated to kickoff at 3 p.m. from Turpin Stadium and will be broadcast on the Southland Network. The game can be seen in the Golden Triangle on K-JAC (DirecTV 50 and Cable 11).


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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog