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Lamar Lasos Aggies in Opener
09/03/2013

Beaumont, Texas-The Aggies traveled to Beaumont, Texas to face Division I-AA
opponent Lamar University for the opening game of the 2013 season.  Lamar won 75-0.
 
The 7pm game time saw a crowd of over 8,000 as the Aggies prepared to take
on one of its most challenging games of the season. The Cardinals jumped out
on top of the Aggies early and never looked back. Lamar opened the game with
an eight-play drive that covered 75 yards in two minutes, capped off by a
13-yard touchdown reception by Kevin Johnson, thrown by quarterback Caleb
Berry.
 
The Aggies opening possession lasted all of two minutes, but a fumble on the
fifth play of the drive set up the Cardinals' offense on the Aggies 34-yard
line. The Cardinals needed five plays to go the distance, scoring on a
13-yard rushing touchdown from running back Kad Harrington. The Aggies would
then fumble their ensuing kickoff and again set up the Cardinals with
excellent field position. Berry would again find an open receiver for his
second touchdown pass of the game making the score 21-0 with just under nine
minutes to go in the 1st quarter. The Aggies could not get their offense
jump started on their next two possessions as they punted them both away.
Lamar would come back to score one more touchdown in the opening quarter as
Berry again found a Cardinal receiver for his third touchdown pass of the
game, making the score 28-0. After a punt from the offense, the Aggies
defense came alive just before the end of the 1st quarter as sophomore
safety Xazier Murry forced a fumble and recovered on the 5o yard line.
 
Both teams opened the 2nd quarter with punts after 3-and-outs, and the Aggie
defense continued to fight as they forced Lamar to kick a field goal, which
resulted in a 42-yard miss. However, Aggies quarterback Caleb Holbrook's
pass was intercepted on the following drive and the Cardinals drove 71-yards
in eight plays as Berry found his fourth different receiver for a 22-yard
touchdown strike. The score ballooned to a 56-0 deficit for the Aggies by
halftime.
 
The second half opened with the Aggies offense catching fire as sophomore
receiver Ricky Backstrom caught a pass from Holbrook, and running backs
Chris McClendon and Justin Fogle followed with three consecutive runs of
eight or more yards. The Cardinals, however, responded with a sack a couple
plays later, which forced the Aggies to punt the ball away. The Cardinals
ended the 3rd quarter with nine points, and were held to 10 in the 4th.
 
Leading the defense for the Aggies were Murry, who finished with nine
tackles and a fumble recovery, and junior safety Dominique Johnson, also
with nine tackles, who showed great playmaker ability on defense and special
teams. Linebacker Isaia Vimoto and freshman defensive end Allen Maxime were
both in on seven and six tackles, respectively.
 
For the offense, McClendon led with 58 yards on 14 carries followed by
Holbrook who finished with 31 yards on 10 carries. Also proving to be a
valuable asset for the Aggies was senior punter Tony Mendoza who netted 330
yards on eight punts (41.2ypp), with his longest punt covering 60 yards.
 
Aggies head football coach Russell Gaskamp commented: "our kids missed a
good opportunity to play well against a good opponent. It doesn't matter
what level of competition you play against, if you turn the ball over six
times and don't defend the run game, you're not going win." Gaskamp added,
"the score does not reflect what kind of team we are going to have this
year; our kids will bounce back and show that this week.
 
The Aggies are scheduled for their first home game of the season on
Saturday, Sept. 7 as they take on Sterling College. Game time is set for 7
p.m.
 
###
 
Justine Gaskamp
 

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