ACU football failed to extend its winning streak to four games as the team lost to conference opponent Lamar, 24-21.
The Wildcats dropped to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in conference while the Lamar Cardinals improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in conference.
The Wildcats scored with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter to make it a 21-10 game. Lamar quarterback Caleb Berry answered with an eight-play, 75-yard drive to make it a 21-18 score with 7:52 remaining in the game. The drive seemed to be over when Berry threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 15 pass, but a highly disputed foul by junior defensive back Justin Stephens gave the Cardinals a first down. They scored one play later.
The ACU offense held on to the ball for 3:42 to ice the game, but the Wildcats left too much time on clock. Lamar went 82 yards in under two minutes to make it a 24-21 game. Lamar’s kicker missed the extra point leaving the game at a three-point lead.
ACU took over but could do nothing with their next possession causing them to punt back to Lamar with 1:37 left to play. The defense made three stops giving the Wildcats the ball back with 38 seconds to play. The offense could not move the ball and junior quarterback Parker McKenzie scrambled for eight yards to end the game.
“It was an interesting game,” said Ken Collums, head coach. “You know the mood swings and momentum was all over the place.”
The Wildcats have lost their three games this year by a combined 10 points.
ACU’s offense put up 449 yards of offense Saturday including 202 yards rushing. Freshman running back De’Andre Brown carried 13 times for 106 yards after missing two games with a sprained ligament. Junior starting running back Herschel Sims added 16 carries for 90 yards. McKenzie went 20-for-35 for 182 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Junior receiver Cade Stone also threw a 65-yard touchdown on a trick play to junior receiver Monte Green-Avery.
Senior wide receiver Demarcus Thompson led all receivers with six catches but only had 26 yards. Stone had three catches for 30 yards, senior fullback Jonathan Parker had three catches for 21 yards, and fullback/tight end Noah Cheshier had three catches for 21 yards and a touchdown. Green Avery also had two catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Senior defensive end Nick Richardson led the team in total tackles (10), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (1.5). Richardson is only five sacks away from breaking the ACU all-time record for sacks.
Safety Justin Stewart and linebacker Justin Stephens had nine tackles each. Stephens also added two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
“When your up by 11 in the fourth quarter we gave up too many points,” Collums said. “They made some real good plays down the stretch and we didn’t.”
The Wildcats’ next game will be against Ava Maria for homecoming weekend.