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Football: Broadway, Ragin’ Cajuns Hold On For 35-30 Win At Akron

Brian McCann, UL Sports Information Director, September 21, 2013

Cajuns open Sun Belt Conference play on Oct. 5 against Texas State

Contact: Brian McCann

AKRON, Ohio – Terrance Broadway was responsible for all five Louisiana touchdowns, including a pair in the fourth quarter, as the Ragin’ Cajuns rallied from a 24-21 deficit to claim a 35-30 victory over Akron on Saturday night in InfoCision Stadium on the Akron campus.

The victory was the second straight for the Cajuns, moving them to 2-2 on the year.  Akron fell to 1-3.

"I thought that even though we made a couple of mistakes, we did not let our mistakes beat us," Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth said.  "We left some points on the field in the first half that gave Akron a chance to get back in the game, but it was a battle in the second half."

Louisiana fell behind, 24-21, just 69 seconds into the fourth quarter when Kyle Pohl completed a short pass to Fransohn Bickley on a fourth-and-3 play and then Bickley broke loose for a 37-yard touchdown.

Broadway, who accounted for a season-high 373 yards of total offense, led the Cajuns on a 61-yard drive, scoring his second touchdown of the night on a 13-yard run that put Louisiana ahead for good, 28-24, with 8:07 left.

The touchdown was Broadway’s team-best fourth of the year and his 13th career score.

Hudspeth used a little trickery on the ensuing kickoff as kicker Hunter Stover dribbled an onside kick ahead and recovered it after it went 10 yards to give Louisiana the ball back at its own 46 yard-line.

"We wanted to call the onside kick earlier in the game but we decided to hold off," Hudspeth said.  "The game had turned into a prize fight with each team throwing punches and looking for the knock out.  It was tough to call, but we executed it correctly and it was there."

The trickery paid off as five plays later, Broadway connected with Darryl Surgent on a 14-yard touchdown play to push the Cajuns lead to 35-24 with 6:19 left.  Surgent caught a season-high seven passes for 83 yards and a score.

"Terrance came to me at halftime and told me that he had sprained his ankle and that he couldn’t run," Hudspeth said.  "He didn’t want to come out of the game so we changed this up so that he could throw balls to our big targets and make some simple handoffs."

Akron missed fourth quarter field goals from 46 and 48 yards before Bickley grabbed a 28-yard scoring pass from Pohl with 29 seconds remaining.

Akron tried an onside kick but Ricky Johnson covered it to end the game.

"I couldn’t be prouder of our guys tonight," Hudspeth said.  "Akron was itching for a big win playing at home after a tough loss last week but we came in tonight ready to play and didn’t let up.  When it was crunch time in the fourth quarter, we were ready."

Broadway set season highs for attempts (37), completions (25), touchdowns (3) and yards (305), adding a team-high 68 yards rushing on 15 carries with two touchdowns.

Jamal Robinson posted his fourth career 100-yard receiving night, making a career-high eight catches for 124 yards and two scores.  It was his third career multi-touchdown game.

Chris Hill, Dominique Tovell and Justin Anderson led the defense with seven tackles each in the game.

The Cajuns had the first opportunity to score after T.J. Worthy intercepted a Pohl pass at the Akron 28, but the Cajuns’ drive would stall and Stephen Brauchle missed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide left,

Rodney Gillis picked off Pohl on the next possession and returned it 28 yards to the Akron 13.  Two plays later Broadway threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Robinson to give Louisiana a 7-0 advantage at the 8:00 mark.  On the play, Broadway found Robinson open at the Akron 3 and he fought his way into the end zone.

"I thought our defense played opportunistic, especially early in the game," Hudspeth said.  "The interceptions on their first two series set the tone for the game."

The Cajuns made it 14-0 at the 9:51 mark of the second quarter when Broadway scored on a 15-yard run around the right side to finish a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive.  The touchdown was the third of the season and 12th of the career for Broadway.

Akron came right back as Pohl found Zach D’orazio open down the middle for a 77-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 with 9:03 left.

The Zips tied the game on their next possession when Jawon Chisholm broke loose for a 22-yard touchdown run, evening the score at 14-14 with 5:26 left in the half.

With Brauchle missing wide right from 40 yards on the opening possession of the game for the Cajuns, Hudspeth elected to try a fake field goal late in the first half.

On a fourth-and-6 play from the Akron 15 with 41 seconds left, holder Jake Guidry tossed a short pass to Alonzo Harris, who caught the ball and started up field before fumbling the ball and Louisiana recovering for a one-yard loss, sending the game to the intermission tied at 14-14.

Robert Stein put Akron ahead, 17-14, when he converted a 49-yard field goal attempt at the 4:45 mark of the third period.

The Cajuns came right back with Robinson going over a defender to make a 27-yard touchdown grab with 57 seconds left in the third quarter to put Louisiana ahead, 21-17.

Akron answered to take their final lead at the 13:51 mark of the fourth quarter and setting the scene for Broadway’s heroics.

Louisiana takes next week off before returning to Cajun Field to begin Sun Belt Conference play against league newcomer Texas State on Saturday, Oct. 5 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Captains for the game were Christian Ringo and Brandon McCray from the defense and Jacob Maxwell and Jamal Robinson on offense. . . .  Louisiana won the toss for the second straight week and deferred to the second half. . . after raining for most of the 24 hours preceding kickoff, the skies cleared two hours before the game and the field dried. . . game time temperature was 68 degrees with the wind out of the northwest at 12 mph. . . this was the first meeting between Louisiana and Akron and the 12th game all-time against a Mid-American Conference opponent with UL now owning an even record at 6-6. . . the game featured the first head coaching battle between Louisiana’s Mark Hudspeth and Akron’s Terry Bowden, each of whom came to their current positions after serving as head coach at North Alabama, Hudspeth from 2002-08 and Bowden from 2009-11. . . Surgent entered the week ranked second in the nation with a 39.5 kickoff return average, brought back the second half kickoff 31 yards for his only return. . . Surgent’s 83 receiving yards moved him from 16th to 13th on the Louisiana career receiving list with 1,380 yards…punter Daniel Cadona, who averaged 34.4 yards on five kicks in the first three quarters, boomed a crucial 55-yard punt in the fourth quarter.