December 13, 2017

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Cowboys running on all cylinders in a 35-0 win over SFA

| by Matthew Bonnette, Sports Information Director

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – McNeese was running on all cylinders Saturday night against Stephen F. Austin as the 25th-ranked Cowboys shutout the previously league unbeaten Lumberjacks by a score of 35-0 behind 342 rushing yards and 505 total.

The win was the fourth straight for McNeese (4-1, 2-1 SLC) while the margin of victory was the largest in a Cowboys’ win in the history of the series. It was also the second shutout for McNeese in the series with the only other one coming back in the 1960 season.

“By far our best game of the season,” said head coach Lance Guidry. “Everything was working for us tonight for the exception of the kickoff coverage, but that’s something we can correct. It was great to see our running game take off.”

David Hamm led McNeese with 164 yards rushing on 14 carries and a touchdown while Justin Pratt added 125 yards on 15 carries. The two became the first duo since 2014 to rush for 100 yards in the same game.

It’s also the first time since 2015 McNeese has rushed for over 300 yards in a game.

In addition to the running game, the Cowboys threw for 163 yards as James Tabary connected on 12 of 24 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns while Joe Lissard hit 1 of 2 passes for five yards.

Defensively, the nation’s No. 2 rushing defense held SFA to 61 yards on the ground and 224 total yards.

Freshman Cody Roscoe picked off his first career pass along with recording his first career sack and forced fumble while getting more action at defensive end due to the injury of Chris Livings.

“He had a great game,” said Guidry. “It was good to see him get in there and make some things happen.”

Buck safety Dominique Hill had a stellar game as he returned from an injury that forced him to miss last week’s contest against HBU. Hill led the team with nine tackles, broke up three passes, had 1.5 tackles for a loss and recovered a fumble.

McNeese sack the SFA quarterback four times and posted eight tackles for a loss.

The Cowboys came up with one of the plays of the game early on when Roscoe intercepted Jake Blumrick’s pass in the endzone after SFA used a hurry up offense to move into the red-zone in a matter of minutes.

That set up an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended when wide receiver Cyron Sutton took a handoff on an end-around and sprinted 15 yards for the score to make it 7-0 at the 7:44 mark of the first quarter.

Hamm put the Cowboys up 14-0 with a 2-yard run with 11:14 to play in the second quarter then Lawayne Ross made it 21-0 when he caught a Tabary pass up the middle and went 30 yards for the score with 1:41 to play in the half.

After the break, Kent Shelby reeled in an 8-yard pass from Tabary to make it 28-0. The catch extended Shelby’s streak to 29 consecutive games with a reception while Tabary extended his multiple-TD game streak to five.

He wasn’t done, however, as he found a diving Parker Orgeron on a 29-yard strike to put the Cowboys up 35-0 with 2:19 to play in the third quarter.

Orgeron, Pratt, Ross and Tavarious Battiste each pulled in two passes to lead the team while Orgeron led the way with 38 receiving yards.

McNeese continues it’s Texas road trek next Saturday when it visits Abilene Christian at 7 p.m.

POST-GAME NOTES:
• This is McNeese’s first shutout since beating Mississippi College 37-0 on Sept. 26, 2015.
• It’s the first shutout over a conference opponent since a 35-0 win over Lamar in 2012.
• The 164 rushing yards by Hamm is a career high and his first 100-yard game.
• Jammerio Gross-Whitaker recorded his second sack of the season and now has 13.5 in his career.
• Kent Shelby‘s third quarter TD catch gives him 14 in his career.
• With 3 TD passes, James Tabary now has 37 in his career, two away from moving into fourth on the school’s all-time career list.
• McNeese’s defense has kept opposing offenses out of the endzone for eight straight quarters.

About Andy Bryson 572 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach