Football: Cajuns claim second straight Sun Belt West championship with rout of Troy + photo gallery
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Nov. 24, 2019
UL rolled over Troy on Saturday, beating the Trojans 53-3 at Cajun Field to win its fifth in a row and claim its second straight Sun Belt Conference West Division championship.
Moving the ball at will, the bowl-bound Ragin' Cajuns ran up a 28-point halftime lead and did not look back en route to securing a rematch with Appalachian State in the Dec. 7 Sun Belt title game.
Each of UL's top four running backs each had at least one touchdown run in the blowout.
The Cajuns finished with a dominating 598 yards of total offense.
Already up 31-3, Stevie Artigue extended UL's lead with a 45-yard field goal with 11 minutes and 34 seconds left in the third quarter.
Jourdon Quibodeaux sacked Kaleb Barker in the end zone for a third-quarter safety that was UL's first since Sept. 13, 2014, making it 36-3.
Trey Ragas followed with his second touchdown run of the night, this one an 8-yarder. Before the third quarter was done, backup quarterback Jaiave Magalei handed off to Chris Smith for an 80-yard TD run on a one-play drive that helped make it 50-3.
Artigue tacked on a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, giving him 15 points on the night and tying him with Brian Mitchell as UL's third-leading all-time scorer with 286.
Levi Lewis drove UL 69 yards on its opening drive, capping it with a 12-yard TD throw to Ja'Marcus Bradley.
Troy answered later with Tyler Sumpter's 30-yard field goal after going for it on 4th-and-3 at the UL 30 and picking up the first down with a 24-yard Barker pass completion.
With 55 seconds left in the first quarter, Raymond Calais Jr. ran in from 24 yard out down the right sideline to help put UL 14-3.
Early in the second quarter, a 1-yard TD run by Ragas set up by his own 45-yard run earlier on the 72-yard drive helped to put the Cajuns ahead 21-3.
Not long afterward, Elijah Mitchell ran in from 11 yards out to cap a six-play, 67-yard drive and with Artigue's PAT UL led 28-3.
With 17 seconds left in the half, Artigue nailed a 49-yard field goal to send the Cajuns into then break up 31-3.
Bradley's first-quarter TD catch was the 19th of his career, tying him with Fred Stamps for fifth place on UL's all-time leaders list. ... Saturday marked the third time this season running backs Calais, Ragas and Mitchell all have scored a TD in the same game. ... Sophomore cornerback Asjlin Washington came up with his third interception of the season during Saturday's second quarter. ... Jayrin Wilson added a third-quarter pick for the Cajuns. ... Cajun captains were Lewis, Kevin Dotson, Kris Moncrief and Jacques Boudreaux. ... Dotson started his 49th straight game. ... Boudreaux forced a fumble and Moncrief recovered for UL in the third quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
Calais' first-quarter TD run was UL's 35th rushing TD of the year, a single season school record. ... Artigue's 49-yard first-half field goal was a season-long for the fifth-year senior. ... Lewis threw for 273 yards. Smith ran for a game-high 87 yards and Ragas 79. Bradley had a team-high five catches for 96 yards. ... UL led Troy 357-229 in total offense at the half. Troy finished with 359. ... Attendance was announced at 14,262.
Starting right tackle Robert Hunt (groin) and starting nose tackle Zi'Yon Hill (shoulder) both were out for UL, as expected. ... Hunt now has missed four straight games; Hill missed his first of the season. ... Also as expected, injured cornerbacks Michael Jacquet III and Kamar Greenhouse both returned for the Cajuns after missing last Saturday's win at South Alabama.
UL: 9-2, 6-1 in the Sun Belt. Troy: 5-6, 3-4.
UL plays host to UL Monroe on Saturday. Troy plays host to Appalachian State on Friday night.