LAKE CHARLES — With Saturday night’s 24-20 victory over Lamar in the Battle of the Border, the McNeese Cowboys ended the regular season with three straight wins and four overall.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After the two Southland Conference rivals went scoreless in the first quarter, Lamar started off the second with a four-yard touchdown run by Khalan Griffin.
McNeese responded quickly as Deonta McMahon took a handoff and raced to the end zone for a 79-yard touchdown run, which is the 10th longest touchdown run in program history.
The Cowboys then took the lead on the Cardinals’ next possession as a fumble by Nick Yockey was recovered by Micah Davey who returned it for a 78-yard touchdown. That return was the sixth longest touchdown return in program history.
Lamar cut into the lead later in the second quarter with a 23-yard field goal by Chris Esqueda.
McNeese extended its lead with a 70-yard touchdown run by McMahon.
Lamar responded with a 98-yard kickoff return by Colby Sessums. The Cardinals then took the ball away two plays later as Ramond Stevens picked off Ryan Roberts.
McNeese’s defense kept Lamar off the board after the turnover.
At the break, McNeese held a 21-17 lead.
Neither team could get much going for most of the third quarter until Lamar added a 43-yard field goal by Esqueda.
McNeese’s defense forced a turnover early in the fourth when Arnaud Willis-Dalton recovered a fumble by Yockey. The Cowboys converted that turnovers into points as Garrison Smith made a 30-yard field goal.
McNeese’s defense stood tall the rest of the way as the Cowboys closed out the four-point win.
BIG NUMBER: 268
McNeese leaned on its running game in Saturday’s victory as it rushed for 268 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry.
BIG NUMBER II: 5
After a scoreless opening quarter, the touchdowns came in bunches in the second quarter as the two teams combined for five touchdowns in the second period.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: DEONTA MCMAHON & MICAH DAVEY
McNeese’s senior running back ended his Cowboys career with his best game as he rushed for a career-high 239 yards on 20 carries and scoring two touchdowns. McMahon became the first player in school history to rush for two touchdowns of 70-yards or more in a single game. Davey meanwhile had a game-high 18 tackles and a 78-yard fumble return for a touchdown for the Cowboys.
UP NEXT: McNeese (4-7, 2-4 SLC) will now prepare for the offseason.