LU Football Holds First Fall Scrimmage
BEAUMONT, Texas – It is apparent that Mother Nature is not happy with the preseason practice schedule for the Lamar University football team, and she is making the Cardinals pay a heavy price. The Cardinals had four practices altered or shortened this week due to lightning in the area, changes that also forced head coach Ray Woodard to change the start time for the team’s first scrimmage. Saturday morning Woodard was forced to change the scrimmage schedule for the second time in less than 24 hours as the Cardinals hit the field at 11 a.m. Saturday (the scrimmage was originally changed to a 6 p.m. start Saturday evening).
“I don’t really think the changes to the schedule have hurt the guys,” said Woodard. “Other than Monday, we’ve been able to get on the field but it hasn’t been at the times we’ve scheduled.”
Despite the early start, it didn’t seem to the bother the players because the offense recorded a touchdown on the second play of the game. Freshman running back Derrion Randle broke a 63-yard run for a touchdown on the second play of the scrimmage. Randle led all backs with eight carries for 82 yards.
The scoring play seemed to spark the LU defense because over the course of the next 10 plays it recorded a sack, forced a fumble and picked off a pass. Beaumont native and preseason All-Southland selection Rodney Randle picked off the Carson Earp pass and returned it 20 yards.
Overall, an energized defense broke up five passes, recorded four tackles for losses, three sacks and forced two fumbles. Senior Xavier Bethany led the defense with seven stops and also broke up a pass. Randle added three stops, while Brannon Beaton and Kevin O’Neill each recorded a sack.
Earp got out to a slow start misfiring on his first three attempts but he warmed up as the scrimmage went along. He connected on four of his next five and finished the day 12-of-22 for 104 yards and a touchdown. The scoring strike was a 14-yard pass to Trenton Swinton in the back corner of the end zone. Earp also carried the ball three times for 50 yards and a touchdown. Transfer Andrew Allen completed five of his seven attempts for 67 yards.
“I really liked how we got after each other today,” said Woodard. “We made some mistakes on both sides of the ball but that is to be expected this early, and when both sides are being aggressive as we were today. We will take the next week to correct those mistakes, but right now I like the energy of this team.”
The Cardinals are scheduled to be back on the practice field Monday beginning at 7 p.m. All preseason workouts are open to the public.