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FOOTBALL: Hoy-to-Giles sets tone for Cards’ spring game

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — Senior quarterback and reigning Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year Jordan Hoy connected with classmate Zae Giles for a 70-yard scoring strike on the first play of the scrimmage Saturday to lead the LU offense.

The Cardinals’ offense scored eight touchdowns against LU’s youthful defense (five passing and three rushing).

“Scrimmages are always a good-bad situation,” said LU head coach Mike Schultz. “I was excited that we had some explosive plays on offense. We’ve been working on that. We want to get players like Zae Giles isolated where we can get him the ball and let him do some things.

“On the flip side, we allowed too many explosive plays. We have to decrease that number, but we are very young on the back end of the defense. We graduated a huge number on the defensive side from last year. We’re not where we want to be but we’re making improvement and that’s the most important thing,” added Schultz.

The coaching staff got a look at three signal callers Saturday as Hoy got the start with the first-team offense, and sophomore Will McBride ran with the second teamers. McBride took several snaps with the first-team offense toward the end of the scrimmage when the coaching staff rotated junior Shane Johnson in with the second squad.

The offense scored on its first two possessions and proved their versatility scoring quickly as well as moving the ball methodically down the field for points. Following Hoy’s TD pass – one of three on the day – McBride stepped on the field and guided the Cards on an 11-play drive that ended with a five-year touchdown run from Cole Starnes.

The defense had the upper hand on the third series forcing the offense quickly off the field with their first three-and-out of the scrimmage. Big Red’s defense was led by sophomore Hunter Adams who finished the day with three tackles, including two sacks, while junior Tariq Gordon walked away with three tackles and two pass breakups. Junior Isaiah Spencer also added three tackles and a sack.

The offense carried the ball 26 times for 213 yards and three scores, while the quarterbacks completed 25 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns. Hoy led the offense completing 6-of-9 (.667) passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. McBride was 10-of-16 (.625) for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball three times for 20 yards but had his only rushing touchdown called back due to a holding penalty.

Starnes, who sat out the 2018 season due to injuries, led the Cardinals with seven carries for 62 yards and a score, while senior Derrion Randle added three carries for 71 yards and two scores. Randle’s touchdown runs were for 13 and 51 yards.

Freshman Erik Pizzaro was the top receiving target Saturday, hauling in five passes for 50 yards, while Giles lit up the scoreboard. Giles finished the day with three receptions for 161 yards (53.7 yards per reception) and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Marcellus Johnson caught four passes for 58 yards and a score, while Garrison Spring recorded four receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals’ other TD reception came from tight end Case Robinson.

Saturday’s scrimmage wrapped up the 2019 spring camp but it’s not the last time fans will get a chance to see the Cardinals in action. The Red and White will return to the field Tuesday, April 30, for the annual Night of Champions. The strength and conditioning event will begin at 6 p.m.

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