• 55°

Defining change: Schultz explains after Lamar’s latest upset

BEAUMONT — Mike Schultz might hear the question for as long as Lamar keeps winning.

For the first time in two seasons, the Cardinals have a started a winning streak, a much-needed event for a team that was recently mired in a four-game losing slide.

The 27-21 shocker over Incarnate Word only ended that skid. Then, Lamar added a second big victory — beating Schultz’s alma mater Sam Houston State 41-23.

Still, in Schultz’s mind, no one game changes the program or is a “signature” victory. The second-year head coach testified that again Monday while breaking down how Lamar (3-4, 2-3) can actually change its course.

“The only way to answer that is to see what we do from here,” he said. “If we don’t win another game, then it obviously isn’t a program-changer and it’s not a signature win. I think we have to put ourselves in position to keep going forward and keep improving. I think what this win does do is, it tells us how far we’ve come as a football team.”

One example Schultz gave: Sam Houston State beat Lamar 63-27 last season in Huntsville. Saturday’s game indicated a 54-point change in margin.

“We’re not where we want to be, but goodness, gracious, when we look back at film, thank goodness we’re not where we were,” he said.

The Cardinals have one home game remaining, Nov. 10 against Houston Baptist. The newfound momentum that began at Provost Umphrey Stadium has a chance to continue in Nacogdoches when they take on Stephen F. Austin (2-5, 2-4) this Saturday.

But Lamar hasn’t won on the road yet this season. Preparing in hopes of a win won’t change because of that.

“Here’s what we’re going to do,” Schultz said. “We’re going to work out Sunday. We going to take Monday off. We use it as a lab day and make sure our kids are doing that and take care of their academics and get their labs in the afternoon, then they’re going to start study hall. We’ll come back and we’ll work hard Tuesday. We’ll work hard Wednesday. We’ll back off on Thursday. We’ll do very little on Friday and get on a bus and head to Stephen F. Austin.”

 

WILL COLBERT BE READY?

Lamar quarterback Darrel Colbert Jr. sustained an ankle sprain at the end of an 8-yard touchdown early in the third quarter and did not return. Colbert wore a protective boot after the game, and Schultz was not certain whether Colbert would be available at SFA.

“I do not know where we are with Darrel Colbert,” Schultz said. “Ankle sprains are a trick deal. I’ve seen kids come back. I remember I was at the University of Illinois and Juice Williams had a high ankle sprain. I thought he was done for the year, and two weeks later he came back and played against Cincinnati for us.”

 

SPECIAL TEAMER OF THE WEEK

Junior Tyler Slaydon became the second straight Cardinal to win the Southland Conference’s special teams player of the week award.

Slaydon, of Bryan, averaged 44.7 yards per punt with a long of 55 yards. Two of them landed inside the 20 with one touchback.

Caleb Abrom won the award last week following his game-winning 66-yard blocked kick return against Incarnate Word. Abrom blocked the extra-point attempt following SHSU’s opening score Saturday.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

email author More by I.C.