BEAUMONT, Texas - McMurry University saw its three-game win streak come to a halt on Saturday, losing to NCAA Division I FCS foe Lamar University, 52-21, at Provost Umphrey Stadium. The win dropped the War Hawks to 3-3 overall, while Lamar improved to 3-4 on the year.
The game was the third of four-straight road games for McMurry.
McMurry freshman placekicker Josh King –making his first appearance since being injured against the War Hawks' last NCAA Division I FCS foe McNeese State back on September 8 – got his team on top on its very first series with a 40-yard field goal at the 11:30 juncture of the first quarter. King's kick crowned a nine-play, 53-yard drive that made it 3-0 in favor of the War Hawks.
However, the lead was short-lived. On the ensuing kickoff, the Cardinals' Kevin Johnson took the ball on his own 12 yard line and wove his way through the McM coverage for an 88 yard touchdown that put Lamar on top 7-3
It was a lead the host Cardinals would not relinquish. LU upped its advantage to 10-3 on its next possession with a 41 yard field goal by Justin Stout with 2:36 left in the opening quarter.
Lamar blew matters wide open in the second quarter, scoring three more unanswered touchdowns…all by Johnson. After his first quarter kickoff return for a TD, Johnson caught three scoring aerials in the second stanza on throws of 13, 13 and 9 yards to account for all four of his team's TDs in the first half.
Much like it was to begin the game, McMurry drove the field on its first possession of the second half. The drive eventually stalled at the Lamar 18 and McMurry again called on King, who delivered a 35 yard field. That cut the deficit to 31-6 with 8:19 left in the third.
But also similar to the first half, Lamar responded with a TD of its own on the ensuing possession following the King field goal. The three-play, 48-yard set made it 38-6 at the 7:02 mark. A lengthy seven-play, 60 yard series with 1:02 left in the third quarter increased the Cardinals' advantage to 45-6.
Down 52-6, McMurry reserve quarterback Brady Lambert engineered a pair of late TD drives of 90 and 47 yards. The first was culminated on an eight-yard run by Chris Simpson and the second on an 18-yard Lambert-to-Barrett Cain< pass. Lambert ran in a two-point conversion to make it the 52-21 final score.
Lamar held a slight advantage in total offense, 380 to 369 yards. However, the Cardinals ran 34 less plays than the War Hawks. LU held a huge lead in rushing yards, rambling for 275 yards on the ground compared to 52 for McM.
Jake Mullin was 21-of-41 for 187 yards and one interception. Lambert was 14-for-21 for 130 yards and was also intercepted once, almost entirely in the fourth quarter.
Greg Livingston had eight receptions for 97 yards to lead the receiving corps. Paxton Grayer also caught eight balls for 68 yards. Beaumont, Texas native Joshua Chatman had four catches for 37 yards in the return to his hometown.
Defensively, Ryan Lambert had nine tackles – seven solo- to lead the War Hawks. Lineman Corey Hall had six tackles and a sack. Greg Pickney had an interception to go along with his four stops.
McMurry will play its final regular season road game next Saturday (Oct. 20) at the University of the Incarnate Word (7 p.m.) in San Antonio.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.