Homecoming was more than just the alumni coming back for a weekend of football; it was about our Sam Houston football team back at home for the first time since their win of East Central Oklahoma in August.
However, it was not the homecoming anyone was expecting, with SHSU losing to McNeese State 28-17.
The Kats were not able to stop an excellent day by tailback Todd Pendland, who rushed for 194 yards and three scores.
After a three and out by the Bearkats, the Cowboys drove down the field to Sam Houston’s 22-yard line. All-American kicker, Blake Bercegeay, missed the 39-yard field goal attempt for McNeese State.
Rhett Bomar and the SHSU offense could not capitalize, leading to another three and out possession. McNeese State took over on their own 30-yard line, and drove 70 yards, capped off by Pendland’s first touchdown.
On the next drive the Bearkats were forced into yet another three and out possession, which led to another Cowboys’ touchdown on a 68-yard run by Pendland.
After trading possessions, the Bearkats finally got on the board with Taylor Wilkins’ 30-yard field goal with a little over two minutes left on the clock.
In one of the top highlights of the game, Sam Houston blocked a 30-yard field goal attempt by Pendland, which set up a Bomar to Chris Lucas 80-yard touchdown pass. It was Bomar’s longest pass as a Bearkat.
On the next SHSU possession Bomar was picked off by cornerback Jeremy Haynes at the SHSU 45. He ran it all the way to the house for a touchdown.
The fourth quarter was more of the same with Pendland rushing for his third score of the game on a 12-yard run.
The Kats did not go down without a fight. Bomar put up a late touchdown pass to Trey Payne to pull within nine points. But, it was too little too late as the ensuing onside kick was recovered by McNeese.
The Bomar-led offense put up their worst game of the year, totaling only 269 yards of total offense. He finished 18 of 39 for 237 yards passing and two scores, which is well short of his averages for the season. He also threw two interceptions, and would have had one more if not for a roughing the passer penalty.
The Bearkats have now lost four straight to McNeese State and are now 2-3 on the season and 0-2 in conference play. They go for their first Southland Conference victory when they head to Natchitoches to play Northwestern State on Oct. 25.