McNeese visits Lamar for the “Battle of the Border” gridiron style

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BEAUMONT – The “Battle of the Border” gridiron style will conclude the 2019 regular season for the McNeese Cowboys when the team looks to lock up its 15th consecutive winning season when it take on the Lamar Cardinals.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Lamar’s Provost Umphrey Stadium. The game will broadcast live on ESPN3 and on the McNeese Radio Network on 92.9 The Lake or 929thelake.com. Fans can also listen on mobile devices with the 92.9 The Lake app.

McNeese (6-5, 4-4 SLC) currently has the second-longest winning season streak in the FCS at 14 with only Jacksonville State the only team with a longer one at 15 seasons. However, the Cowboys can take over the top spot with a win and a Jacksonville State (6-5) loss to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.

Lamar (4-7, 2-6) has dropped four straight games and is coming off a 31-26 loss to HBU.

COWBOYS LOOK TO CLOSE OUT SEASON ON A WINNING NOTE IN THE ANNUAL “BATTLE OF THE BORDER” RIVALRY GAME
• McNeese will conclude its 2019 regular season on Saturday when it visits Lamar in the “Battle of the Border” rivalry game.
• The Cowboys will be searching for their seventh win of the season and extending their streak to 15 straight seasons with a winning record.
• Head coach Sterlin Gilbert will look to become the seventh coach in school history to win at least 7 games in his first season at the helm (Ratcliff, 8 in 1946; Gregory, 7 in 1955; DeVall, 8 in 1957; Duplechin, 11 in 1979; Tate, 8 in 2001; Viator, 11 in 2007 in his first full season).

SUTTON, BEGUE MAKE HISTORY
• The wide receiving combo of Cyron Sutton and Trevor Begue became the first duo in school history to record at least 50 receptions in the same season.
• Sutton set a new single-season record after his 6 catches at Nicholls lifted him to 65 grabs on the year, breaking the old record of 64 held by Henry Smith (2004).
• Begue also reeled in 6 catches against the Colonels to give him 50 on the year and ranking as the 8th most in a season.

VS. LAMAR
• Saturday’s game will mark the 38th meeting between the border warriors.
• Lamar won last year’s game by a 21-17 score in Lake Charles to snap McNeese’s three-game winning streak in the series.
• The Cowboys have won the last four games played in Beaumont and have won 7 of the last 10 overall.

RETURN GAME ON POINT
• McNeese returned kickoffs for a touchdown in back-to-back games for the first time in school history when D’Andre Hicks started if off with a 96-yard score against Northwestern State then Mason Pierce capped it with a 95-yard return at Nicholls.
• McNeese is one of just seven teams in the FCS with two KORs for a touchdown – Jackson State, Morehead State, HBU, Maine, William & Mary and Richmond.

McNEESE TEAM NOTABLES
• The Cowboys have won the turnover battle in 9 of 11 games this season and are 4-0 when not committing a turnover.
• 5-2 on the year when leading at halftime and has won 48 of 55 games when leading at half dating back to the 2012 season.
• Defense has held 7 of its last 8 opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
• Cowboys are 5-1 on the year when not throwing an interception.
• Forced 25 turnovers through 11 games, ranking No. 4 in the FCS in turnovers forced.
• McNeese has forced a turnover in 24 of the last 25 games.

LIVINGS LOOKING TO MAKE HISTORY
• Senior defensive end Chris Livings will get a shot to make history this season with his eyes set on the school’s all-time sacks record.
• Livings will enter Saturday’s game ranked second all-time with 29 quarterback sacks, needing just 2 more to match the record held by Bryan Smith (2004-07) and 2.5 to break the mark.
• His 29 total sacks ranks tied as the 7th most in Southland Conference history in a season.
• Livings recorded eight sacks in 2018 to match a season-best for him (2016).
• In addition, the Lake Charles native has recorded 43 tackles for loss, ranking him 4th all-time.

McNeese Career Sacks Leaders
1. Bryan Smith (2004-07) 31.0
2. Chris Livings (2015-present) 29.0
3. Kavika Pittman (1993-95) 22.5
4. Eric Kidd (1990-93) 22.0

McNeese Career Tackles for Loss Leaders
1. Bryan Smith (2004-07) 56.5
2. Terry Irving (1990-93) 48.0
3. Charles Ayro (1995-98) 45.0
4. Chris Livings (2015-present) 43.0

RECORDS TIED OR BROKEN IN 2019
• QB Cody Orgeron set a single-game mark with 403 total offensive yards against UCA on Oct. 12. Orgeron finished with 344 passing and 59 rushing. The old record was 399 set by Derrick Fourroux in 2008.
• Orgeron’s 53 total plays on Saturday at Nicholls lifted him to the No. 1 spot in the record book in total plays for a single-season with 469, passing the old mark of 454 that was set in 1995 by Kerry Joseph.
• WR Cyron Sutton set a new single-game record with 13 catches against Central Arkansas on Oct. 12. That broke the old mark of 10 held by four other players, including Sutton.
• Sutton with TD catches in seven straight games.
• Sutton a single-season record in receptions with 65 heading into Saturday’s finale, breaking the old mark of 64.
• DL Cody Roscoe set a single-game record against HBU with six passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
• Punter Bailey Raborn set a new record against Oklahoma State on Sept. 7 when he had seven punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
• The team set a record by returning kickoffs for a touchdown in back-to-back games for the first time in school history – D’Andre Hicks vs. Northwestern State and Mason Pierce at Nicholls.

WINNING WAYS
• With its win over Northwestern State, McNeese guaranteed itself of at least a .500 season for the 15th consecutive year.
• With a win on Saturday, McNeese will have the second-longest current winning streak among active FCS teams.
• McNeese can take over the top spot with a win and a Jacksonville State loss on Saturday.
• The Cowboys have won 7 or more games four out of the last seven seasons and have recorded 10 wins twice (2013, 2015) during that stretch.
• Since 2000, McNeese has produced 8 or more wins nine times.

Winning Season Streak
Active FCS Teams
1. Jacksonville State (6-5) 16
2. McNeese (6-5) 15

Jacksonville State plays Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Should it lose and McNeese wins, the Cowboys will have the longest winning season winning streak in all of FCS.

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