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The Lamar University football team lost 28-35, Saturday, against Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. The Cardinals fell short of tying the Demons in the final seconds when quarterback Darrell Colbert Jr.’s pass to sophomore Kendrick King was picked off. The Cardinals fall to 1-2 overall, 0-1 in Southland Conference play.

“We didn’t play well enough,” head coach Mike Schultz said during Monday’s press conference. “We made mistakes and we’ve got to play better.”

The Cardinals most significant mistakes were 15 penalties for Lamar, ranging from false starts to offside to unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Fifteen penalties for 150 yards — that’s outrageous,” Schultz said. “That’s got to get turned around, and that’s got to get turned around this week. We cannot allow that to happen. We’ve got to make sure we get that corrected. That’s the way I feel about it. It’s got to be a team effort, from the coaches on down. We can’t have those many mistakes.”

Despite the drawbacks, Schultz said there were some positives to the game.

“We did some decent things on offense,” he said. “At times, we were explosive on offense.”

Another bright spot was King, Schultz said. King had a career high 120 yards on 21 carries.

“As a runner, as a player, you’re actually seeing some growth,” he said. “It’s happening pretty quick, right before your eyes. You’re seeing him take steps. The thing about Kendrick, he isn’t a big, physical, over-domineering back, but you see his pass protection. Kendrick did not miss a blitz. He steps right up into the teeth of linebackers.”

Schultz said the team has to put the loss behind them to focus on what’s next.

“We’ve got to get into what I call ‘the process,’” he said. “It doesn’t matter what happened on Saturday night. Win or lose, come Sunday afternoon, we have to put that one to bed. We’ve got to start focusing on the next game. We started with what I call ‘the cleanup period,’ Sunday. As coach’s we’re also already game planning and putting things together.”

Schultz said the team has already started preparing for Saturday’s SLC matchup against Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La. at 7 p.m.

“They are a triple-option offense,” he said. “They run a lot of option, which means you have to have a guy on dive-quarterback pitch. When they are not running triple option, they are running double option, which means you have to have the guy on quarterback-only pitch. You have to play disciplined defense.

“Defensively, they are very active, they are all over the place. They have different fronts. They have different alignments. They blitz, they don’t blitz. They are good and they’ve got good players. We have to be a very disciplined team for this game.”

This is Lamar’s fourth time starting Southland Conference play with consecutive road games and the second time in the past two years.

“It is what it is,” Schultz said. “It’s always tough to play on the road — it’s never easy. You’ve got to kind of buckle your chin strap up a little bit tighter, tie your shoes a little bit tighter and go play.”

Saturday’s game will be available on radio at KLVI 560 AM.

Story by Cassandra Jenkins, UP sports editor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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