Bearkats smother the Pumas

The Sam Houston State Bearkats improved their record to 2-2 this weekend after rolling the St. Joseph’s Pumas, 41-0.

Saturday’s game marked the first shutout for the Bearkats defense of the year and its first since the 2000-2001 season. Before the game, the Bearkats were allowing opponents to score over 45 points per game. Saturday, Sam Houston State allowed zero.

The Bearkat defense recorded two sacks for 11 yards and forced three turnovers, including a pair of interceptions by safety Trey Wilder and defensive end Edward Decambre, and a fumble recovery by linebacker Darnell Taylor. The Bearkats held St. Joseph’s to only 126 total yards for the game.

“Our defense is made to bring a lot of pressure and force turnovers to get the ball back to the offense and we really got things to work today,” said Edward Decambre. “We have a young defense but we’re learning. We worked really hard today. If we can continue to play like this, we can win conference.”

The offense ended the game with 371 yards, a number that is deceiving to the unit’s success. Throughout the game, the Bearkat offense often had a short field to play with.

The great starting field position was made possible by the defense, who forced seven three-and-outs and 10 punts. On 16 offensive possessions, the Bearkats’ average starting field position was its own 47 yard-line, including six possessions in which the drive began in St. Joseph’s territory.

“Anytime you don’t allow the opponent to score, it’s just really hard to do,” said head coach Todd Whitten. “The defense played well and I think we had them outmanned. We have a good pass rush and I think it’s going to continue to get better and better.”

Along with the great defensive play, the Bearkat offense also had a nice day.

Blake Joseph completed 17 of 24 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns, along with a seven-yard touchdown run to lead the offense that gave St. Joseph’s headaches for the entire game.

Chris Poullard led the rushing attack with 71 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. James Aston also had a solid game running the ball with 57 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

Jason Madkins was once again a presence in the passing game. Madkins caught three passes for 87 yards and a touchdown, including a long 43-yard catch that set up a touchdown run by Poullard. Darnell Jones also contributed by adding three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.

“We came out a little sluggish, maybe because of the rain delay, but we played pretty well and it was nice getting a win today,” Joseph said. “I think the offense is really starting to come together. We’ve got a good offensive line, good receives, just a good overall unit. We still got a lot of thing we need to work on. But I think we can score points on anybody.”

After starting the game with back-to-back three-and-outs, the offense finally got things going on their third drive of the game. With a good mix of runs and passes, the Bearkats drove down the field to score the first points of the game. Following the seven-yard touchdown run by Blake Joseph, Sam Houston State took the lead, 7-0.

The Bearkats continued to add on to their lead and scored touchdowns on their next two possessions to extend their lead. Following a pair of touchdown runs by Aston and Poullard, the Bearkats took the lead, 21-0.

St. Joseph’s threatened to answer on the next possession by driving deep into Bearkat territory. Following a 33-yard run by running back Jashon Banks, St. Joseph’s found themselves in Sam Houston State territory for the first time in the game.

With the ball on the Bearkat 12-yard line, the Pumas moved backwards-following two penalties and a sack. St. Joseph’s attempted a 47-yard field goal to get on the scoreboard, but failed to do so. This would be their last play in Bearkat territory.

Sam Houston State moved quickly on the ensuing drive to add on more points before the half. They succeeded as Miguel Antonio nailed a 30-yard field goal to give the Bearkats a 24-0 lead at the half.

The Bearkats came out in the second half and continued to dominate. They scored on their next two drives with a pair of touchdown passes to Madkins and Jones to gain a 38-0 lead.

Sam Houston State extended their lead to 41-0 following a 27-yard field goal by Miguel Antonio two drives later.

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