The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns headed up to Troy, Alabama to face their Sun Belt rival. The offense for the Cajuns was explosive and the defense came up with some key turnovers to triumph over the Trojans and secure home-field for the conference title game on December fourth.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Troy received the ball to start the game and went down the field quickly. The Trojans quarterback Gunnar Watson completed at 27 yard pass on 4th & 6 to his receiver Tez Johnson and set up for 1st & Goal from the Ragin’ Cajun 10 yard line. Troy got on the board with a Watson run the next play.
Louisiana’s first offensive play was a 43 yard Chris Smith run that got them to the Trojan 36 yard line. Smith touched the ball three times on the drive, but it was a 15 yard Levi Lewis touchdown pass to Dontae Fleming that tied the game at seven halfway into the first quarter.
Next Trojan’s drive was lengthy with a 14 play drive that took almost six minutes off the clock. The Cajun defense stood strong in their own redzone and force a Brooks Buce 30 yard chip shot field goal that gave Troy the lead back.
The Cajuns struck back fast as Lewis connected deep with Michael Jefferson for a 52 yard touchdown on the third play of the possession.
After a Troy three-and-out, Louisiana started their drive at their own 20 yard line. On a 3rd & 9, Montrell Johnson ran the rock for two yards to the Trojan 36. The Cajuns decided to go for it but Lewis’ pass fell incomplete.
Following punts by each team, Troy had another drawn-out drive that took the time down to 4:20 in the second quarter. Buce’s 47 yard field goal attempt was successful as the Trojans were now down one.
The first half came to a close as neither team team could generate much offense the last few possessions and the Ragin’ Cajuns led 14-13.
Louisiana got the ball to start the second half and wasted no time to get into enemy territory. On 3rd & 3 from their own 44, Lewis found Neal Johnson for a big 40 yard pick-up and a few plays later, Lewis hit Kyren Lacy for the 13 yard score.
Defensively, the Cajuns forced a fourth punt in the last five drives they were on the field. Linebacker Chauncey Manac sacked Watson on third down to force the lone fourth down punt.
On 3rd & 8 at midfield, Lewis connected with Johnson for the second time of the game, but was stopped a yard short of the first down. Louisiana rolled the dice to go for it and Lewis picked up the first down with his legs. The offense marched inside the Trojan 30 and found themselves in another fourth down after back-to-back Lewis incompletions. The Cajuns went for it one more time on the drive and Lewis kept it himself and ran all the way for a 27 yard touchdown.
Punts were traded by both teams and Troy would get the ball back with 3:05 left in the third quarter. This drive was their third long-lasting drive of the game as it took 15 plays for Watson to find Johnson from seven yards away to score their second touchdown of the game.
Lewis was sacked for a big loss on third down as the Cajun offense stalled and punted the ball back to Troy. The Trojan drive would end quickly as Watson was intercepted by Ferrod Gardner and and downed at the Louisiana 49 yard line.
Louisiana opted to run the ball down the Trojan’s throat as Smith, Lewis and Johnson had at least a carry on the drive. Johnson capped the drive off with a six yard touchdown run to put the Cajuns up by 14 with 5:15 left to go in the contest.
The Cajuns racked up two fumble recoveries on Troy’s last to drives to seal the 35-21 victory.
BIG NUMBER: 3
The Ragin’ Cajuns defense eliminated any chances the Troy Trojans had of coming back as they forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter to win the game.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Levi Lewis
Lewis’ day included over 200 total yards, four total touchdowns and a 66.7 completion percentage to elevate his team to a Saturday afternoon victory.
UP NEXT: @Liberty on November 20. Kickoff set for 3:00 p.m.