Beaumont – Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders rushed 16 times for 131 yards and four touchdowns to lead Sam Houston to a 56-7 Southland Conference football victory over Lamar Saturday.
The junior’s touchdown runs of seven, one, 59 and 10 yards upped his career totals to 47 rushing TDs and 50 total six-pointers. Both marks rank Flanders third in Southland Conference annals.
The victory, Sam Houston’s fifth consecutive win, upped the No. 5-ranked Bearkats to 6-2 for the year and 4-1 in Southland Conference action. Lamar dropped to 3-6 for the year and 0-4 in league play.
The Bearkats out-gained the Cardinals 508 total yards to 181. Sam Houston’s 378 yards rushing ranks as the program’s third highest total in a Southland Conference game.
The 100-plus yard performance marked Flanders 20th career 100-yard game. He now ranks sixth in Southland all-time rushing with 3,379 career yards.
The four TDs give Flanders his fourth career game with three or more scores. Flanders set the Sam Houston school record for touchdowns in a game with five in an overtime victory over New Mexico last year during the Bearkats’ 14-0 run to the NCAA Division I national championship game.
Kat kicker Miguel Antonio joined in the record-setting spree with eight extra points to become Sam Houston’s all-time kick-scoring leader with 264 points. He passed Billy Hayes who produced 258 points as a kicker from 1985-88. Flanders is the only Bearkat to score more points with 300 in his career.
Flanders opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown to complete a nine-play, 45 yard set up when the Bearkat defense stopped Lamar for a loss of one on a fourth-and-two attempt at the Cardinal 46.
On the next series, Darnell Taylor knocked the ball out the Cardinal running back hands at the 15-yard line and J. T. Cleveland ran the fumble recovery to the one. Flanders took one play to score and up SHSU up 14-0.
Another fumble recovery set up the Kats’ third tally. Jeremy Jackson forced the miscue and Kenneth Jenkins recovered at the Lamar 48. On the first play after the turnover, Bell founder Diller alone in the Lamar secondary for a 48-yard score with 1:16 left before intermission.
SHSU took only a minute and six seconds to tally its first touchdown of the second period. On the third play of an 80-yard drive, Flanders broke for a 59-yard score, the junior’s longest run this season and the third longest of his career. The touchdown marked Flanders seventh run of more than 50 yards during his career.
With 9:56 left in the third, Flanders picked up his fourth touchdown running from the Wild Bearkat formation from 10 yards out.
Keyshawn Hill added a six-yard touchdown after a nine-play, 67-yard drive to put SHSU up 42-0 with 4:38 to play in the third.
Kevin Johnson put Lamar on the scoreboard with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 4:36 remaining in the period.
Cody Morgan tallied the final touchdown for Sam Houston on a three-yard run to complete an 80-yard fourth quarter drive.
Sam Houston returns home to play host to Southeastern Louisiana next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the final Bearkat game at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium this season.