Louisiana Opens Season With 24-7 Win Over SLU
Louisiana Ragin' Cajun football extended their nation leading win streak to 14 on Saturday night at Cajun Field in the season opener against Southeastern by the score of 24-7.
Coach Michael Desormeaux improved to 2-0 as head coach of his alma mater, winning his first home game as head coach.
"We're gonna be happy when we win, and these kids worked really hard and I'm really proud of them," said head coach Michael Desormeaux.
The Ragin' Cajuns got off to a hot start, forcing a 3 and out on defense, then taking the opening drive 79 yards down the field for a touchdown.
Tight end Johnny Lumpkin scored the first points of the season, reeling in a 38 yard score from quarterback Chandler Fields, as the Cajuns led early 7-0.
The momentum moved forward for Louisiana as the Cajuns defense forced another three and out.
On the ensuing drive, Louisiana's offense kept the sticks moving with some solid runs, but stalled in the red zone. Kicker Preston Stafford got 3 points on the board for Louisiana though, extending the Cajuns lead to 10-0 late in the 1st quarter.
Following another three and out by the UL defense, punt returner Eric Garror made the biggest play of the game, returning the Lions punt 83 yards for a touchdown.
Following Garror's touchdown, Louisiana went through a dry spell on the scoreboard.
Both the Lions and Cajuns put together drives in the second quarter that ended on failed fourth down conversions in the red zone.
In the third quarter, the Lions leaned on a physical run game, while the Cajuns offense couldn't gain momentum.
After not punting in the first half, Louisiana punter Rhys Byrns punted twice in the third quarter, while kicker Preston Stafford missed a 43 yard field goal attempt.
Leading 17-7 in the fourth quarter, Southeastern scored on a long touchdown pass, but it was negated due to an illegal chop block.
After exchanging punts, it was Eric Garror making the second to biggest play of the game, this time on defense.
The Lions tried to fool the Cajuns defense by attempting a wide receiver reverse pass but Garror wasn't fooled, hauling in an interception for the only turnover of the game.
However, the momentum didn't swing, as four plays later the Cajuns gave it back to the Lions after failing to convert on 4th down.
Three plays after that, Andre Jones and Brandon Bishop combined for a sack to get the ball back to Louisiana.
Following another Rhys Byrns punt, the UL defense picked off the Lions again as sophomore Amir McDaniel intercepted quarterback Cephus Johnson.
This time, Louisiana was able to punch it in the end zone and put the Lions away, capping off the short drive with another touchdown pass from Chandler Fields to Johnny Lumpkin.
Southeastern couldn't add any late cosmetic points, as Louisiana wrapped up the season opener with a 24-7 victory.
"There's a lot of positive from tonight...certainly, me as a coach I've gotta call some better plays and get our guys in position to make some plays," explained Desormeaux. "But I'm proud of the guys...win #1 is in the books...we can certainly get better from here and we'll do that."
Fields finished the night 13 of 20 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns, while backup Ben Wooldridge went 7-11 for 68 yards.
Lumpkin led all pass catchers with 5 receptions for 72 yards and 2 scores.
The Cajuns rushed for 133 yards on the night, with Terrence Williams leading the way on 10 carries for 61 yards.
Louisiana returns to Cajun Field next week for a 6:00pm Saturday night kickoff against Eastern Michigan (1-0).
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