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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Ground game shines in 24-14 win over Lamar

Carley Nail

Hunter Smith’s 27-yard outside run for a touchdown late in the first quarter was a sign of things to come for the Warhawks’ ground game.

When Lamar’s two fourth-quarter touchdowns put pressure on the now one-touchdown Warhawk lead, fellow running back Isaiah Woullard’s 44-yard run set up the Warhawks for a successful 30-yard field goal with 3:30 remaining in the quarter.

ULM secured its first 2-0 start since 2018 with a win over the Lamar Cardinals (0-2) largely in part by the two running backs who each contributed over 100 yards rushing.

“Isaiah Woullard coaches me when I come to the sideline,” Smith said. “It’s a one-two-punch relationship.”

The run game built a lead while methodically running the clock out. The defense — highlighted by a career-high 14 tackles for defensive tackle Adin Huntington — kept Lamar off the board for over three quarters, before a 19-yard touchdown pass squandered the Warhawk shutout with 12:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals struck again just over four minutes later to bring ULM’s lead down to 21-14.

“We probably pulled in the reigns a little too quickly on offense,” third-year head coach Terry Bowden said. “You can’t just go out and run the ball and run the ball.”

Complimenting the offense, ULM’s special teams altered the course of the game.

Austin Goffney, a transfer who spent three seasons with Lamar, came down with an interception to keep his former team off the scoreboard on the opening drive. The Cardinals opted for a fake field goal that Goffney saw coming.

“Knowing that sometimes a team gets down there in that situation, it’s a good time to try a fake,” Goffney said. “I just put myself in position to make a play.”

A quarter later, special teams struck again, this time resulting in six for ULM.

Defensive back Carlin Vigers broke through the line and got two hands on a freshly launched punt that bounced back and was recovered by linebacker Tristan Diggers.

“We really felt like we could block a punt,” Bowden said. “We saw some things that they were doing in punt protection and [special teams coach] Jason Rollins worked real hard. He sold on our players on, if they would do exactly what he said he thought we’d get a punt block.”

The game served as the last chance to prep for the road and Saturday’s opponent —the SEC’s Texas A&M.

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