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FOOTBALL: Lamar’s Hoy repeats as offensive player of week

Southland standings, scores and schedule

                                                Conf.   Over.

No. 17 Nicholls State             5-2      6-3

No. 18 McNeese State           5-2      6-3

Incarnate Word                     5-2      5-4

Lamar                                  4-3      5-4

Central Arkansas                   4-3      5-4

Abilene Christian                  4-3      5-4

Sam Houston State                4-3      5-4

SE Louisiana                          4-4      4-6

Northwestern State              2-5      3-6

Stephen F. Austin                  2-5      2-6

Houston Baptist              0-7      1-8

Nov. 3 scores

Incarnate Word 43, Sam Houston State 26

Nicholls State 41, Houston Baptist 20

Abilene Christian 49, Northwestern State 47

SE Louisiana 23, McNeese State 6

Lamar 38, Central Arkansas 24

Saturday’s games

Abilene Christian at Sam Houston State, 2:30 p.m. (Eleven Sports)

Incarnate Word at Central Arkansas, 3 p.m. (www.Southland.org/live)

Houston Baptist at Lamar, 3 p.m. (MyTX/ESPN+)

Stephen F. Austin at No. 17 Nicholls State, 3 p.m. (ESPN3)

No. 18 McNeese State at Northwestern State, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

BEAUMONT — Lamar quarterback Jordan Hoy earned Southland Conference Player of the Week honors for the second time in a row.

But Lamar coach Mike Schultz cautioned Monday there is no “quarterback controversy” despite Hoy playing well in Darrel Colbert Jr.’s absence. Colbert has been missing in action since an ankle sprain in the Oct. 20 upset win over then-No. 14 Sam Houston State.

“You don’t lose your position because of injury,” Schultz said. He did not indicate whether Colbert would be available for Lamar’s home finale this Saturday against Houston Baptist (1-8, 0-7).

Hoy completed 15 of 25 pass attempts for 346 yards and four touchdowns as the Cardinals (5-4, 4-3 Southland) upset then-No. 19 Central Arkansas 38-24 in Conway, Arkansas. Hoy also ran 23 times for 49 yards and the Cards’ only other touchdown.

A week earlier at Stephen F. Austin, Hoy ran for a career-high 225 yards.

“… It is never a controversy if you have two good quarterbacks. In fact, it’s the opposite end of the word ‘controversy.’ I’m excited we have two good quarterbacks. Right now, Darrel Colbert is our starting quarterback and will remain being our starting quarterback.”

 

National attention, maybe?

Lamar has won four straight games for the first time since 1979. Larry Kennan’s first team in Beaumont beat Southwest Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette, or Louisiana) 21-17, Arkansas State 20-10, Northeast Louisiana (now Louisiana-Monroe) 21-7 and Northwestern State 28-13, en route to a 6-3-2 season — the last winning record for the Cardinals until Ray Woodard’s 2014 team went 8-4.

Lamar last won five in a row in 1972 under Vernon Glass, when it went 8-3, matching the most wins in school history.

After beating two teams ranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 this season, Schultz’s Cardinals earned 29 voting points (which would be good for 36th) and knocked Central Arkansas (5-4, 4-3), the defending Southland champion out of the poll. Both teams are one game behind co-leaders Nicholls State, McNeese State and Incarnate Word in Southland standings.

Lamar will visit McNeese on Nov. 17, lost to Nicholls State 50-27 in Thibodaux, Louisiana, on Sept. 29, and beat Incarnate Word 27-21 in Beaumont the next week to start the winning streak.

The Southland typically sends two or more teams to the NCAA Division I playoffs, although only one automatic berth is guaranteed. Should Lamar beat HBU and presently No. 18 McNeese, the Cards will only strengthen case for an at-large bid.

With narrow losses to Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State, which are in the bottom half of the conference standings, Lamar at best has an outside shot of extending its season.

“We can’t control that,” Schultz said. “You know what we can control? We can control what happens tomorrow in practice. We can control what happens Wednesday in practice. We can control what happens Thursday in practice. We can control our preparation up to the game. Then, you know what we’ve got to do? We’ve got to try to win that game, and we have some control over that, and then you go into the next week.

“The one thing I guarantee you we have no control over is what happens with that selection committee.”

 

Course (almost) complete

Schultz often cited the importance of “staying the course” through last season’s 2-9 run, his first in Beaumont. With the four-game winning streak, Lamar has seen a reversal of fortune and is now standing one win away from its first winning season since 2014.

Reflecting on the journey made Schultz emotional toward the end of his weekly conference.

“I’m very excited for our kids,” he said, his voice withering down before a 5-second pause. “They work awful hard. I’ve, uh, been known to push kids, and I just excited for the kids. The kids and the coaches. They work their tails off.”

 

STATS FCS Top 25

Nicholls trended upward three spots to 17th, with McNeese sliding from 11th to 18th following a 23-6 loss to Southeastern Louisiana. Central Arkansas fell out of the poll from 19th (and would stand 26th), and Sam Houston State has enough voting points to be ranked 33rd.

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.

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