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Football: Cajuns win a wild one

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, Sept. 2, 2017


FINAL SCORE

Click here for game photo gallery.

Cajuns 51, Lions 48

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 51, Lions 48, 0:00)

Cajuns recover onside kick. It's over, folks. CAJUNS WIN!!

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 51, Lions 48, 0:42)

WHAT IS HAPPENING??!! SACK FUMBLE!!! Ragin' Cajuns run it back for 2 points of their own!!

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 49, Lions 48, 0:42)

This is unbelievable. SLU scores touchdown with less than a minute to go. THEY'RE GOING FOR 2!! 

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 49, Lions 42, 3:16)

The Cajuns have punted the ball back to the Lions at the 5-yard line. With just over 3 minutes to go, Cajuns up by a TD, Lions have 95 yards to drive.

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 49, Lions 42, 8:41)

A huge 34-yard catch and run by JaMarcus Bradley reached the SLU 30. Two plays later, it appeared for a second that the Lions had come up with a huge interception in the end zone, but pass interference was called. On the next play, Elijah Mitchell scored from 1 yard out to give the Cajuns the lead again.

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 42, Lions 42, 10:08)

That failed drive proved very costly, because SLU drove 80 yards on nine plays in 3:35 to tie the game at 42-42.

FOURTH QUARTER (Cajuns 42, Lions 35, 13:44)

Unfortunately for UL, Barnes' effort was wasted. Hudspeth elected to pass on a 45-yard field goal attempt leading by a touchdown and a holding flag spoiled the drive. Geraci promptly punted it into the end zone.

Most of August was spent bragging about Aritgue's leg, but Hudspeth elected not to go that route.

END THIRD QUARTER (Cajuns 42, Lions 35)

The passing game hasn't been smooth tonight, but Davis hit Keenan Barnes on a huge 38-yarder on third-and-6 still only leading by a touchdown to reach the SLU 37 late in the third quarter. 

THIRD QUARTER (Cajuns 42, Lions 35, 5:11)

Ryheem Malone's 31-yard punt return set up a 10-play, 50-yard scoring drive for the Cajuns that ended with a 3-yard TD run by Jordan Wright for a 42-35 lead. .

THIRD QUARTER (Cajuns 35, Lions 35, 10:05)

After a crazy first half of big plays, both teams punted after three-and-outs.

 (Cajuns 35, Lions 35, HALF)

 

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 35, Lions 35, 0:05)

SLU drives 8 plays on 70 yards in 2:25 to seemingly  tie the game. An illegal block on SLU seemingly stifled the drive, but Lions easily scored. Actually Bethea was ruled out inside the one and the fullback does the honors with a 1-yard TD catch. INJURY REPORT: Ragas questionable (shoulder); Travis Crawford doubtful (leg). Denarius Howard didn't dress today with hamstring, which is why Acadiana High product Bralen Trahan is getting so much playing time so far today

NOTE: This is the most points SLU has scored against a FBS team since bringing football back in 2003.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 35, Lions 28, 2:42)

Defense forces a punt to stabilize this game a little bit and then SLU defense forces a punt as well.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 35, Lions 28, 7:04)

UL wastes a chance to get a two-score lead after the fumble recocery by punting after three plays and giving the Lions the ball back on the 20. INJURY REPORT: Trey Ragas was taken to the lockerroom with an apparent shoulder injury.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 35, Lions 28, 9:10)

I don't think there's any way to sugar-coat this. The Cajuns aren't tackling. The linebacker play is scary at this point. But UL got a huge break when a bad pitch is recovered by Trev Miller to help UL set up shop at the Lions' 45.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 35, Lions 28, 10:01)

Davis runs 38 yards on a great fake on fourth-and-one to set up a Dion Ray 1-yard TD to help UL regain the lead. WELL, everybody screamed for more points and UL's already scored more points than Cajuns have scored in a regulation game since the 2015 season. Wow!

There's 10:01 still to play in the second quarter and the score is 35-28! Is this arena football?.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 28, Lions 28, 12:53)

Folks, it's getting silly now. SLU gets a 54-yard TD run by Julius Maracalin to continue the football game that turned into a track meet. It's already the most combined points in this series in 40 games. At this point, it's kind of difficult to know how impressed we should be with all of these big plays with this many of them.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 28, Lions 21, 13:47)

Davis then hits Ryheem Malone on a 15-yard TD pass to help the Cajuns regain the lead.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 21, Lions 21, 13:54)

Davis runs for 11 and then hits Jordan Wright for 19 to reach the SLU 15 at a timeout.

SECOND QUARTER (Cajuns 21, Lions 21,14:47)

Bralen Trahan comes up with an interception on the first play of the second quarter. Add a flag on SLU and the Cajuns' offense opens shop at the Lions; 45.

END FIRST QUARTER (Lions 21, Cajuns 21)

Cajuns' defense finally comes up with a big stop thanks largely to Joe Dillon's 15-yard sack as the first quarter ends.

More: Five Things to Watch: UL vs. Southeastern Louisiana

FIRST QUARTER (Lions 21, Cajuns 21, 2:57)

Unbelieveable. Calais returns the ensuing kickoff 100 yards - tying a school record - to tie the game at 21-21. Again, the scoring plays in this first quarter including 60, 97, 100 and 42.

FIRST QUARTER (Lions 21, Cajuns 14, 3:09)

Lions follow the big punt return with a 1-yard TD run by Bethea to take a 21-14 lead ... and the first quarter still has 3:09 left to play. Amazing action in this first quarter. Big play after big play after big play.

FIRST QUARTER (Lions 14, Cajuns 14, 3:39)

Davis has a costly intentional grounding play for a 20-yard loss from the 1, where Geraci will punt from the back of the end zone. This Lions returns the punt 34 yards to the UL 2. Geraci not looking good so far as the new punter.

FIRST QUARTER (Lions 14, Cajuns 14, 5:16)

UL's defense stands strong after giving up 8 yards on first down, then stuffing SLU on two straight plays to force a punt.

FIRST QUARTER (Lions 14, Cajuns 14, 7:08)

Game of huge plays so far. Bethea's 42-yard TD run was the shortest of three scoring plays thus far. Davis' second pass was also way off the mark. Not a crisp start for the offense.

Davis runs QB draw for eight yards. That's a play that should work fairly often for Davis. Trey Ragas gets UL's initial first down with a 5-yard run, which was all on his own. Davis hits his first.

AND THE TRACK MEET IS ON! Ragas breaks off a 54-yard touchdown run on a sweep to the left. Impressive running for a big man.

So far in a half a quarter, the four scoring plays in this game are averaging 63.25 a play.

FIRST QUARTER (Lions 14, Cajuns 7, 9:47)

Calais only gets this kickoff to the 15, so we get to see the new offense. Jordan Davis' first pass is a bubble to Ryheem Malone for four yards. Then UL doesn't convert on third down - high pass from Davis. Not a good start by the offense.

Then the special teams goes the other direction with Max Lyons returning a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to give the Lioins a 14-7 lead at 9:47.

FIRST QUARTER (Cajuns 7, Lions 7, 11:22)

SLU's running attack having early success running right at the Cajuns, crossing midfield in five plays. Then South Carolina transfer Lorenzo Nunez gets 7 to the Cajuns 42. So far, one of UL's biggest question marks is rearing its ugly head early. Linebackers have struggled.

The Lions drive 68 yards in 7 plays, getting a 42-yard TD run by Eugene Bethea.

FIRST QUARTER (Cajuns 7, Lions 0, 14:49)

Cajuns win the toss and elects to receive. Hud just preparing me for frustration in the Saints' game. Strange. College guys normally get that right.

Raymond Calais returns kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. We talked throughout August about needing a better return game and Calais responds right away. Amazing what a difference a play like that can make.

THE CAPTAINS

Cajun captains tonight quarterback Jordan Davis and offensive tackle Grant Horst on offense and linebacker T.J. Posey and nose tackle Taboris Lee on defense.

THE TEXAS FLAG

Flag bearers tonight are Shay LaPorte (American), Stevie Artigue (Acadiana), Deuce Wallace (Louisiana) and – in a special addition Saturday, in a nod to the victims of Hurricane Harvey – Houston-area high school product and SMU-transfer Ryheem Malone carried a flag from the state of Texas.

HARVEY SURVIVORS

About 20-to-30 Harvey survivor families from the Houston and Beaumont areas are staying at the local Lafayette hotel UL used before Saturday night’s game, and when he found out Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth distributed about 20-to-30 of his personal tickets to a number of them with small children that were inquiring in the lobby about going to the game.

More: UL coach offers prayers for Harvey-impacted Cajuns

The Ragin Cajuns kick off the 2017 football season against the Southeastern Lions at 6 p.m. at Cajun Field. We'll be here with live updates through out the night. 

Here's more info on how to watch the game. While you're waiting for kickoff, read up on what you need to know before gametime.

UL VS. SLU PREGAME

  • UL vs. Southeastern, La. at Cajun Field, 6 p.m., Saturday.
  • Today's game is the official unveiling of UL's offense under new offensive coordinator Will Hall. The offense's points per game of 21.3 last season was the lowest in the Hudspeth era.
  • Today's game is also the unveiling of Jordan Davis in his first game as the full-time starting quarterback for the Cajuns.
  • The Cajuns lead the all-time series 19-17-3.
  • Southeastern is led offensively by a two-quarterback system - both Division I transfers from major conferences in Donovan Isom of Utah and Lorenzo Nunez from South Carolina.
  • The Cajuns are coming off a 6-7 season, while the Lions were 7-4 last season, winning six of their last seven games.