LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - David Hamm rushed for a career-high 166 yards on 15 carries and had a 63-yard touchdown run, but Lamar quarterback Darrell Colbert’s 1-yard dive with 2:04 to play following a 39 pass completion, lifted the Cardinals to a 21-17 win over McNeese here Saturday afternoon in front of 11,532 fans as the Cowboys complete their season at 6-5.
Hamm, one of 18 seniors that were honored in a pregame ceremony, put McNeese on top at 17-14 with 14:39 to play in the fourth quarter on the longest run of the season for any Cowboy rusher. He averaged 11.1 yards per carry on the night.
“This is a tough way to end the season,” said Hamm. “I thought we did a really good job on offense tonight, especially the offensive line.”
McNeese rushed for 226 yards on the night and averaged 9.0 yards per carry. It’s the most rushing yards put up on the season.
“This is the healthiest our offensive line has been all season,” said head coach Lance Guidry. “David ran really hard. I was very proud of him.”
Quarterback James Tabary played in his final game and completed 8 of 31 passes for 79 yards but had at least four or five balls dropped that were right on target.
“James threw a bunch of good balls tonight,” said Guidry. “We had some guys drop some balls that would’ve converted third downs.”
Lamar (7-4, 6-3 SLC) scored first on a 15-yard run by A.J. Walker with 6:31 to play in the first quarter. McNeese got on the board with 1:32 to play in the second when senior kicker Gunnar Raborn connected on a 29-yard field goal, his 16th on the season, to make it a 7-3 game at the half.
The Cardinals went up 14-3 late in the third when Colbert found Case Robinson on a third down play when he found Robinson over the middle for a 36-yard score.
But McNeese came right back when Benjamin Jones returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to pull the Cowboys to within 14-9 after the two-point conversion failed with 3:57 to play in the third.
That led to Hamm’s go-ahead run by Hamm early in the fourth quarter.
McNeese played without star defensive players B.J. Blunt and Jovon Burriss and lost the services of Darion Dunn and Cody Roscoe during the game. At one point, the defensive line had three true freshmen in the game in the fourth quarter.
“We had a lot of our guys hurt,” said Guidry. “We just ran out of players.”
Defensively, the Cowboys had three players record 10 or more tackles. Christian Jacobs led the way with 12 stops while Cory McCoy finished with 11 and Tre Porter 10. Chris Livings recorded two sacks.
The Cardinals ended the game with 448 yards of offense, 279 of those on the ground.
“Both of those quarterbacks did a good job,” said Guidry. “It was a rough go tonight but I thought the players really played hard.”
The loss snapped an 11-game home winning streak for the Cowboys.