HUNTSVILLE - On a day when offense was at a premium, Lamar came up with a turnover in triple overtime to upset No. 25 Sam Houston State 20-17 Saturday at Bowers Stadium.
After the Cardinals scored on a 27-yard field goal, sophomore quarterback Ty Brock threw an interception to Michael Lawson to end the Bearkats’ first-ever triple-overtime contest.
Sam Houston State, which fell to 3-1 in the Southland Conference and 4-3 overall, managed just 257 yards of total offense, the majority of it coming on the legs of sophomore running back Donovan Williams, who hit the century mark in rushing for the second consecutive game with 126 yards on 29 carries.
Brock, who has been playing through an injury, was just 12 of 34 passing for 114 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He did, however, have a potential touchdown pass dropped on a deep ball by senior wide receiver Nathan Stewart on the first play from scrimmage in the opening quarter.
The Bearkat defense turned in a dominating performance, holding Lamar (4-3 overall, 2-2 in SLC) to just 246 yards and did not give up a score in regulation. Sam Houston State forced three turnovers, had seven sacks and 19 tackles for a loss.
Sophomore linebacker Trevor Williams had a monster game defensively for the Bearkats with 15 tackles, 13 solo, and one and a half sacks. Junior Joseph Wallace had a sack and forced a fumble, and freshman Jevon Leon, junior Scean Mustin, junior Trace Mascorro and sophomore Markel Perry all got to the quarterback.
After the Cardinals scored a field goal on their possession in the first overtime, junior Hunter Pinegar came off the bench and made one from 23 yards out to send the game into a second extra period.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second overtime. Williams took it in on an 11-yard run for Sam Houston State’s first score since the opening period, and Lamar answered on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Jordan Hoy to wideout Mason Sikes.
The Cardinals missed a 38-yard field goal with 6:52 left in the game that would have won it.
Sam Houston State had two promising drives into Lamar territory in the third quarter but couldn’t capitalize. Sophomore kicker Connor Crow missed a 47-yard field goal the three minutes into the second half, and the other drive ended on a turnover on downs at the Cardinals’ 28-yard line.
The Bearkats’ first scoring drive was aided by three Lamar penalties, a roughing the passer call that resulted in an ejection for targeting and a pair of pass interference flags drawn by Stewart. The second pass interference call set Sam Houston State up with a first and goal from the 5-yard line, and on the next play, Stewart hauled in a touchdown pass from Brock for a 7-0 lead with 1:21 left in the first quarter.
The Bearkats gave Lamar its first touchdown at the 12:11 mark of the second quarter. After starting center Matt Burrell left due to injury on a 13-yard run by Williams to the Cardinals’ 14-yard line, backup Colby Thomas snapped the ball before Brock was ready. The ball rolled to the back of the end zone, and Lamar defensive end Cameron Houston recovered it to tie the contest at 7 following the extra point.
Sam Houston missed another opportunity to score after Wallace forced a fumble that was recovered by senior DJ Curtis at the Cardinals’ 7 in the second quarter. The Bearkats only managed to gain three yards to set up a 22-yard field goal by Crow, who missed the kick wide left with just under three minutes left in the half.