LAKE CHARLES, La. – Jacob Bower threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as McNeese State took a 30-27 win Saturday night over Lamar, which resumed its football program after a 21-year absence.
Bower, a transfer from Tulsa, completed 18 of 31 passes for 288 yards for the Cowboys, who are coming off a Southland Conference championship season. McNeese State freshman tailback Marcus Wiltz rushed for 182 yards.
The Cowboys, who lost three fumbles in the first half, led 16-10 at the break on a 2-yard run by Bower and three field goals from Josh Lewis.
Andre Bevil threw for 426 yard and three touchdowns for the Cardinals, including two scoring passes in the fourth quarter to keep Lamar close.
McNeese State held the Cardinals to only 20 yards on the ground on 16 carries
Lamar's last game before dropping its program was a 22-16 win over McNeese State on Nov. 18, 1989.