Sam Houston State's prolific offense, averaging 51.6 points per game heading into the game, struggled to move the ball. Timothy Flanders, coming off a 280-yard performance against Eastern Washington, was held to just 83 yards on 28 carries.
Bell opened the scoring with a 45-yard run in the second quarter. Lamar (3-3, 0-1) responded with a 47-yard Alex Ball field goal at the end of the half. Bell found Stephen Williams for an 18-yard touchdown late in the third quarter, giving the Bearkats (5-1, 1-0) the 14-3 lead they would hold onto for the win.
Caleb Berry struggled for the Cardinals, going 17 of 41 for 196 yards and throwing one interception.
Lightning delayed the game for two hours in the fourth quarter.