Kade Harrington sets school record, earns national honor

Kade Harrington

Lamar University junior running back Kade Harrington has been named Stats FCS National Offensive Player of the Week, as well as the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week, which was his third honor this season. Let’s not forget the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Offensive Performer of the Week honor.

Harrington set several school and conference records in the Cardinals’ 44-28 victory over Abilene Christian last Saturday with 28 carries for 347 yards and two scores. Harrington’s 347 rushing yards set a school and Southland single-game rushing record.

His 365 all-purpose yards also broke a single-game school record, which Harrington set in the league opener at No. 3 Sam Houston State earlier this season. In that game, Harrington rushed for 230 yards and recorded 83 receiving yards. Just for good measure, Harrington recorded touchdown runs of 80 and 62 yards. It was the 62-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that tied the LU career scoring mark (198 points), a record, which has stood since the 1994 season.

“That was a special performance by Kade,” said LU head coach Ray Woodard. “It seemed like whenever we needed a play to be made, he came through for us. I’ve never been around a performance like that at any level of the game. For him to do it on that stage, in conference play against very good teams is special. Every now and then I’ve seen a player have a really good team against a sub team of sorts, but not like what he has been able to do this year. He is a special player.”

Harrington’s performance against Abilene Christian is the 11th-best game in NCAA FCS history, and ranks as one of the top 40 performances at the NCAA Division I level. Over the course of the past three games, Harrington is averaging 243 yards per game. During that stretch, he is averaging better than a first down per carry (10.13 yards per carry).

Harrington is one of only two players in the conference averaging better than 100 rushing yards per game, and he currently leads the nation, averaging better than 166, and is third nationally with eight touchdowns.

The Cardinals return to action Saturday, Oct. 17, when they travel to Natchitoches, Louisiana, to take on Northwestern State at 6 p.m.

The Demons are winless on the season with an 0-5 record, but lead the all-time series with Lamar, 8-7-1.

Volleyball

Oct. 13 was a special night at McDonald Gym for the Lamar University volleyball team, and it had more to do with what happened off the court than on it.

“It’s about the kids that you get to coach, and it’s about watching them grow as people and as athletes” said head coach Alan Edwards with a thought-filled pause. “I’m overwhelmed by tonight, and it’s going to take me a while to recover.”

It all started with Lamar’s need for a win to push its home record to a perfect 9-0 during the 2015 campaign, but also a need to keep pace in the Southland Conference Tournament race against a Sam Houston State squad that sat in fourth place heading into the match. It took five sets to do it, but LU (13-7, 3-3) was able to pull out the victory, 3-1

Also during the match, Lamar was hosting its “Green Out” in honor of junior Autumn Taylor’s dad, Steve, and to help raise awareness and money for renal cell carcinoma. Senior setter Jenna Jackson had to miss most of the match due to a pinning ceremony that honored completion of her work in nursing school. Jackson show did not show up to the match until the fourth set, but was at the front of the bench cheering on her teammates during the clincher.

After all was done and the Cardinals finished their fight through an intense fifth set, the team huddled around Taylor who was then proposed to by her now-fiancé and current LU football player Tate Smith.

“She had a lot of family in,” said Coach Edwards. “I told her after the match that a year ago I would have never imagined it, but when we sided out in the end and Autumn went to serve, I knew the match was in the bag,” said Edwards. “I had no doubt and no question in my mind. For that kid to step into that role and have the night she had, I’m just really glad she’s on our team.

“I can’t say enough about the crowd in McDonald Gym. It is a special place to play. I’ve never been in a place like that. I’ve never felt a crowd pick you up and get you over a hurdle like that crowd does. I’m unbelievably happy that I get to coach in that place.”

The Lady Cards’ next match will be at home versus Central Arkansas on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. During the UCA contest, LU will continue to raise money to fight renal cell carcinoma by selling the green shirts that LU warmed up in before Tuesday’s match. The shirts cost $20, and all proceeds will go to cancer research.

Soccer

The Lady Cards have lost four in a row, falling to 6-9 overall and 2-4 in Southland Conference action, with a loss to Southeastern Louisiana on the road by the score of 3-2.

Freshman Jordan Munix netted both goals for Lamar to give her nine on the season.

“Every game is important the rest of the way,” head coach Orlando Cervantes said. “We know what we have to do if we want to get into the conference tournament. We just have to go out and do it.”

The Cardinals return next weekend for their final two home games of the season at the LU Soccer Complex when they host Abilene Christian on Friday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. and Incarnate Word on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m.

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