Football: Louisiana Falls To Appalachian State, 30-19, In SBC Championship Game
BOONE, N.C. – Louisiana Football (7-6), fell to the Appalachian State Mountaineers (10-2), 30-19, in the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship Game, but the season is far from over as the Ragin' Cajuns will now head to the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Dec. 15, in Orlando, Fla.
Sophomore running back Trey Ragas led Louisiana on the ground, finishing with 101 yards rushing on 16 attempts, while senior kicker Kyle Pfau was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals to help Louisiana's offense keep pace with the Mountaineers.
Louisiana's defense was stout all game long holding Appalachian State to 75 yards passing and only allowed 13 first downs in the game. Seniors Justin Middleton and Corey Turner led the Ragin' Cajuns in tackles each recorded nine stops during the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Louisiana took the opening kickoff and proceeded to drive 55 yards in nine plays and Pfau capped it off with a 37-yard field goal. But App State responded and on the ensuing kickoff Darrynton Evans went 96 yards, getting tackled at the one-yard line. On the next play App State cashed in on a one-yard touchdown run by Marcus Williams to go up 7-3.
Both teams traded a handful of possessions through the remainder of the quarter and the game rolled into the second quarter with App State up 7-3. During Louisiana's first drive of the second quarter, the Ragin' Cajuns cut into App State's lead going 41 yards in 11 plays, with Pfau once again finishing the drive hitting a 45-yard field goal to make it 7-6.
But a 75-yard nine-play drive from App State, capped off by Zac Thomas scoring a 25-yard rushing touchdown, gave App State an answer to Louisiana's previous scoring drive and it put App State back up 14-6. Both teams traded scoreless possessions and at halftime the score sat at 14-6.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): App State got a field goal of its own on the first drive of the second half, helped by Evans' 48-yard run, which put App State on Louisiana 27-yard line. Louisiana's defense dug in after Evans' run and forced App State to settle for the 42-yard field goal putting the score at 17-6.
Louisiana took the ensuing kickoff and junior running back Raymond Calais returned it 61 yards to the App State 36-yard line to set Louisiana up for its first touchdown of the game. That TD came in the form of senior quarterback Andre Nunez rumbling in from eight yards out to get Louisiana within four points with the score sitting at 17-13.
A big fourth-down stop, at the App State 34-yard line, from Louisiana's defense gave the Ragin' Cajuns good field position and Louisiana converted another field goal, with Pfau nailing one from 23 yards out to get Louisiana within one point. But App State responded with a 10-play 52-yard drive that was finished with a 42-yard field goal to put App State up 20-16.
The Mountaineers then created the separation they needed in the fourth quarter, scoring on the next two drives that they had, with Thomas running in a 35-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter and Chandler Staton converting a 43-yard field go put App State up for good. Pfau added a 24-yard field goal in-between the two App State scoring drives, but the Raign' Cajuns could not make up the gap and the Mountaineers came away with the SBC Championship winning 30-19.
- Coin Flip Winner:
- Louisiana Goes Bowling:
- Ragas Runs For 100...again:
- Ragas Keeps Racking Up Yards:
- Opening With A Score:
- Shutting Down The Air:
- Career/Game Highs:
UP NEXT: Louisiana will lineup for one final game, when the Ragin' Cajuns head to Orlando, Fla., to play in the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Dec. 15 with kick scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT. Louisiana will play a member of the American Athletic Conference in the game.