ACU gained its first win in 51 years against Lamar in Beaumont on Saturday by a massive 56-o margin. This week’s victory boosted the team and head coach Adam Dorrel to a 3-1 overall record.
After a strong defensive performance in the Wildcats’ last game against UT Permian Basin, they continued their momentum and played an efficient defensive game that led to the shutout.
ACU’s defense only allowed Lamar University’s quarterback, Jalen Dummett, to be 4-7 in passing completions, earning only 38 yards. The lack of a passing game caused the Cardinals to rush 42 times, but Lamar only had 10 first downs and zero red zone appearances throughout the entire game.
The Wildcats also were able to keep the momentum they gained from the first quarter and take it to the second quarter, and eventually to the rest of the game, which was something head coach Adam Dorrel noticed.
“It’s been two weeks in a row that we have capitalized on momentum right before half,” Dorrel said. “I think doing that helped sealed this game. The momentum was really on our side, but thanks to our guys making good plays, it swung in our favor.”
Leading the Wildcat offense again was Stone Earle, redshirt freshman quarterback from Keller. He kept the offense moving by throwing three touchdowns to three different receivers by halftime. By the final buzzer on Saturday, he finished with 185 yards and 13 passing completions.
Another significant play was made by redshirt sophomore cornerback from College Station, Ryan Stapp, when he found the ball in arms off of a tipped ball Lamar’s 12 yard-line. This resulted in a pick-six that gave the Wildcats a 28-0 lead and all the momentum heading into the locker room at halftime.
Numerous strong defensive plays and turnovers caused by the ACU defense occurred in the Wildcats’ matchup with Lamar, which Dorrel mentioned has been crucial to the Wildcats’ winning streak.
“The fact that we have been able to turn the football over in the past two weeks has been huge,” Dorrel said. “We’re finally getting guys in a position of knowing when the other quarterback is going to throw and getting him off his spot. So I have been pleased about guys doing their job and capitalize off of those obvious pass situations.”
Coming out of halftime, the Wildcat offense picked up where they left off and cruised to three-straight scoring drives, making the lead 49-0 with 4:34 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Players that scored in these drives were redshirt freshman running back from Lubbock, Jeremiah Dobbins, senior running back from Hamshire, Tyrese White and redshirt sophomore quarterback from Belton, Peyton Mansell.
Dobbins, who returned to the lineup for the first time since playing SMU, finished Saturday with 46 rushing yards and one touchdown, while White finished with 82 yards and one touchdown. Mansell provided six rushing carries for 107 yards and one touchdown, with his longest attempt being for 62 yards.
After the three straight scoring drives, ACU continued to play disciplined and poised football on both sides. Then, Koy Richardson, a redshirt senior cornerback from Angleton, closed out the game in the fourth quarter by making a 25-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, bringing the game to the final score, 56-0.
The Wildcats, who have struggled with third-down conversions for most of the season, also finished Saturday with a 64 percent third-down efficiency rating.
Heading into next week, the Wildcats enter conference play which will include teams both from the Western Athletic Conference and the ASUN Conference, with former Southland Conference and now ASUN opponent, Central Arkansas. And, according to Dorrel, the Wildcats are ready for conference play.
“We’re really excited to get into it, get off and get going,” Dorrel said. “We got a huge challenge in front of us, Central Arkansas is a great football program and they have been for a long time. But I think our guys are up to the challenge.”
ACU’s next matchup against Central Arkansas will be at home in Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. The game will be streaming live on ESPN+.