BEAUMONT — The UIW Cardinals rode a strong game from freshman quarterback Cam Ward and used an offensively charged second half to defeat the Lamar Cardinal 42-20 on Saturday afternoon.
The win is the second straight for UIW, who defeated McNeese a week ago to open their rare Spring Season. Senior Kevin Brown ran for a career-high 196 yards as the Cardinals racked up 626 yards of total offense.
Lamar opened the scoring when quarterback Jalen Dummett found Jeremy Davis for a 5-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. The Cardinals answered back when Brown got loose down the field for a 66-yard touchdown, making it a 7-7 game.
UIW took a 14-7 lead late in the opening quarter when Ward hit Brown in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. Lamar answered back on a Chaz Ward two-yard run and a field goal to take the 17-14 in the second quarter.
The Cardinals took back the lead going into the locker room thanks to a Ward touchdown pass to Darion Chafin, giving the visitors the 21-17 lead at break.
UIW blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Lamar 14-3 in the period and 21-3 in the second half overall.
On UIW’s first possession of the second half, Ward led the Cardinals down the field and capped off an 84-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown, giving them the 24-17. Lamar added a field goal but UIW scored again before the end of the third quarter, giving the Cardinals the 35-20 lead going into the final 15 minutes.
The Cardinals put the game out of reach with Ward’s touchdown pass to a wide open Jaelin Campbell in the end zone, closing the scoring at 42-20.
For the game, Ward finished by completing 29 of his 42 passes for 341 yards with four touchdowns, while adding a score on the ground. UIW’s running game outpaced Lamar’s 285-196.
The UIW Cardinals are now 2-0 (2-0, SLC) on the season and will return to the field next Saturday when they return to Benson Stadium for the first time this season to play Southeastern Louisiana.