, Port Arthur, Texas

February 22, 2014

Defense shines in LU football scrimmage

The Port Arthur News

BEAUMONT —  The Lamar Cardinals ran approximately 60 plays in

Saturday’s scrimmage to close out the second week of spring camp. The

scrimmage highlighted the potential of Lamar’s young, inexperienced defense

which came through for several big plays.

    Facing an offense that returns the majority of its starters from a

record-setting 2013 campaign, the defense took center stage Saturday. The

Cardinals’ defense combined to record seven tackles for losses — including

four sacks — four pass break ups and two fumbles, one of which was returned 98

yard for a touchdown.

    “I was very proud of our defense today,” said head coach Ray Woodard. “We

have so many new faces on that side of the ball that we are going to see some

inconsistency until they get the experience. With so many pieces of the puzzle

returning on offense, I think we will go as far as our defense will take us.

    “These guys continue to get better with more reps and we, as a staff, are

hoping that will continue throughout the offseason and into 2014, so by the time

we get to conference our defense is a cohesive unit. We are hoping it will be

similar to last year where the offense struggled a bit early but really came on

down the stretch.”

    Lamar’s first team defense forced the first offense off the field after

surrendering just one first down, but it was the second-team offense that

recorded the first big play of the day. Sophomore-to-be Rex Dausin found Jayce

Nelson for a 68-yard completion for the touchdown. It was one of six receptions

the Port Neches native made on the day. He finished the scrimmage with six

catches for 107 yards.

    Following the scoring play, 2013 starting quarterback Caleb Berry guided the

offense down the field, mixing an effective run game while completing all three

of his pass attempts during the drive. Despite allowing the offense to move the

ball, the defense got the stop without surrendering a score.

    It was Berry’s next series on the field when the defense took center stage.

The defense forced the LU offense into the negative on five consecutive plays.

    Linebacker Mike Hargis got things started with the first sack of the scrimmage,

followed by Logan Moss knocking down a pass at the line of scrimmage. That was

followed by a Keith Curran sack and a deflected pass by Montez Hunter. The very

next play saw David Hollyfield breakup a Robert Mitchell pass attempt.

    Lamar’s signal callers finished the game19-of-30 (.633) for 258 yards and four

touchdowns. Dausin had his best outing of the spring completing 8-of-9 (.889)

passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns, while Berry was 9-of-15 for 73 yards

a score.

    Although redshirt freshman Robert Mitchell finished the day 2-of-6

(.333) passing, he was very effective carrying the ball four times for 61 yards

and a score.

    Lamar ran the ball 23 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore-to-be

Emmitt Raleigh had nine carries for 37 yards, while transfer Carl Holmes six

rushes for 37 yards.

    Junior to-be Reggie Begelton hauled in only three catches on the day, but one of

them was a 12-yard TD pass from Berry. Junior-to-be Gratian Gladney added three

receptions for 68 yards and two scores.

    Hunter led the LU’s defense with five stops, while transfer Tylond Robertson

added for tackles. Moss recorded four tackles, including two sacks, and a pass

break up while Curran added four tackles and a sack. Junior-to-be Tommie Barrett

forced the fumble on the two-yard line that was recovered and returned 98 yards

for a score by Xavier Bethany.

    The Cardinals return to practice Monday with a 7 p.m. workout. The annual

Crawfish Bowl will be Saturday, March 1 at noon from Provost Umphrey Stadium.