Nov 7, 2009 11:33 PM by Travis Webb
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns did something that no Cajuns team had done since 1997 - win in Jonesboro, Ark. The Cajuns built a 21-3 lead and then held on for a 21-18 victory. UL improves to 5-4 (3-2 SBC), while Arkansas State falls to 2-6 (1-3 SBC).
The home team had won each meeting in the series dating back to 1998, a span of nine games.
With ASU trailing by just three points and nearing scoring position at the Cajuns 39-yard line, Lance Kelley made a remarkable interception along the sidelines to stop the Red Wolves in their tracks. Kelley tipped a well-thrown thrown pass by Ryan Aplin and then retained possession with one foot down as he fell out of bounds. The play was reviewed by replay officials and confirmed.
Yobes Walker gained five yards on each of his first three carries to help the Cajuns run out the clock and secure victory.
Aplin entered the game late in the third quarter and provided a huge spark to the ASU offense.
ASU cut the Cajuns lead to 21-10 with 12:39 to play thanks to a 16-play, 68-yard drive. Reggie Arnold scored his ninth rushing touchdown of the season to make it an 11-point game. The drive's key play came with ASU facing a fourth-and-15 from the Cajuns 21-yard line. Aplin hit Taylor Clements with a 19-yard pass to set-up Arnold's score.
The next Red Wolves possession saw Aplin hit a wide open Taylor Stockemer for 64 yards down to the Cajuns five-yard line. Arnold scored on the next play, coupled with an Aplin run on the two-point conversion, to cut the gap to just three points, 21-18, with 10:10 to play.
Despite allowing two late scores, the Cajuns defense was magnificent. The Cajuns collected three turnovers thanks to a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery against the Red Wolves. ASU was 0-10 on third down.
UL took the opening possession of the second half 72 yards down to the ASU eight-yard line, but a 10-yard penalty, followed by a lost fumble, cost the Cajuns a fantastic scoring opportunity.
The defense responded as Gerren Blount gathered his third interception of the season at the Cajuns 40-yard line and returned the ball all the way down to the ASU 12. A 15-yard personal foul penalty away from the play cost the Cajuns 15 yards from the spot of the foul. UL took over at their 46-yard line - a difference in field position of 42 yards.
Unfortunately, the offense went three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Red Wolves.
The Cajuns defense got the ball back again on the very next play. Antwyne Zanders stalked quarterback Corey Leonard, sacking him on his blindside and forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Topp.
This time the offense capitalized. Chris Masson scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line, giving the Cajuns a 21-3 lead.
Masson finished 28-of-40 for 229 yards and did not commit any turnovers nor was he sacked. He has five 200-yard passing games this season, including each of the last four games. The last Cajuns quarterback to attempt 40 passes in a game was Jerry Babb (22-of-42) vs. La.-Monroe on Dec. 2, 2006.
Marlin Miller had 11 carries for 33 yards and eight receptions for 36 yards in the game.
The first half belonged to the Cajuns and they had an 11-point lead to show for it. UL racked-up 204 yards of offense, while holding ASU to just 61 total yards in the game's first 30 minutes.
The Cajuns were handed excellent field position after an opening three-and-out by the Red Wolves. A bad snap by ASU on third down forced a punt from their end zone, which was downed at the Cajuns 44-yard line.
The Cajuns marched 56 yards in 11 plays, scoring on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Blaine Gautier. Masson quickly moved the Cajuns near the ASU red zone thanks to a 19-yard completion to Luke Aubrey and a 13-yard completion to Richie Falgout. A series of rushes inched the Cajuns closer before Gautier's first career touchdown.
UL began the second quarter with a 12-play, 72-yard drive, starting from their three-yard line, but a fumble gave the ball back to ASU at the 25-yard line. Masson was 7-for-7 on the drive for 64 yards.
The defense forced a three-and-out and the Cajuns offense went back to work near midfield thanks to a 17-yard punt return by Louis Lee.
Masson continued his hot hand, going 4-for-4 on the drive for 26 yards. He capped UL's eight-play, 51-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run. His fourth rushing score of the season gave the Cajuns a 14-0 lead with 3:07 left in the first half.
After a nice 21-yard kickoff return to midfield, ASU moved 31 yards in five plays to get inside the Cajuns red zone. The hosts cut the Cajuns lead to 14-3 thanks to a 36-yard field goal by Josh Arauco.