SAN MARCOS, Texas (Press Release) – Powered by a three-touchdown performance from senior running back Trey Ragas, Louisiana Football was able to stave off a pesky Texas State team and secure a 44-34 road victory on Halloween night.
Louisiana (5-1, 3-1 Sun Belt) improved to 4-0 in road games this season, while extending its unbeaten streak over Texas State to seven games, four of which have come in San Marcos.
The offense was firing on all cylinders under the full moon, tallying a season-high 614 yards of total offense behind 332 yards passing and 282 yards rushing, both of which were season highs.
Quarterback Levi Lewis was phenomenal in the ballgame, completing 22 of his 32 pass attempts for a season-high 332 yards and two touchdowns. With his efforts, the senior moved into fifth in career passing yards (5,396), surpassing Jon Van Cleave.
Senior wideout Jalen Williams played a big role in the aerial assault, hauling in three passes for 85 yards, while rookie Kyren Lacy and redshirt junior Calif Gossett each hauled in a touchdown pass.
On the ground, Ragas led the way with 131 yards on 19 carries and three scores, his 13th career game eclipsing the 100-yard mark and first game with three rushing scores, while Elijah Mitchell added 96 yards on the ground. Lewis also added a rushing touchdown, his second of the season and sixth of his career.
Louisiana’s defense was stout all game, notching three interceptions and recording three sacks. Eric Garror was responsible for two of those takeaways, becoming the first Ragin’ Cajun with two picks in a game since Tracy Walker did so on Nov. 8, 2014, against New Mexico State, while Bralen Trahan came up with the other interception, his team-leading third of the year.
Seniors Cameron Solomon and Ferrod Gardner led the team with six tackles each against Texas State, while Gardner, Kam Pedescleaux and Chauncey Manac each recorded a sack.
After two big offensive plays by Texas State, Trahan produced his seventh career pick to set up the Louisiana offense in Bobcat territory. The Ragin’ Cajuns wasted no time finding the end zone, moving the ball quickly down the field in five plays to set up a three-yard touchdown by Ragas to go ahead 7-0 early.
Following another Bobcat interception, Lewis aired out a 46-yard pass to Gossett, who went over the top of a defender to snag his first-career touchdown reception to extend the lead to 14-0 early in the quarter.
On the next drive, Texas State sent out the field goal unit after a solid defensive stop by the Cajuns, but a perfectly executed fake field goal from 12-yards out put the home team on the board.
Texas State took a 21-14 lead with 11:40 in the second quarter by scoring 14 more unanswered points on a Jahmyl Jeter one-yard dive and a 33-yard touchdown reception by Marcell Barbee.
Lewis snapped the Bobcats’ scoring streak and tied the game back up at 21 points apiece a little over four minutes later after keeping the ball himself and scampering into the end zone from 12-yards out.
Louisiana then regained the lead late into the first half when Ragas pounded his way through the defense and scored from two yards out, his second of the night, to help the Ragin’ Cajuns take a controlling 34-21 lead at the break.
Placekicker Nate Snyder extended the lead to 37-21 with a 42-yard boot on the first drive of the second half. The teams went back-and-forth over the next 10 minutes of the third stanza before Texas State answered with a 10-yard touchdown score to pull within 37-27 following a failed two-point conversion.
Ragas found the end zone for a third time with 10:15 to play, trotting in the seven-yard score to push the lead out to 44-27. Texas State added a late score, an 18-yard rush from Brock Sturges, but it was not enough as Louisiana held on for the 44-34 victory.
Louisiana returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 7, when it hosts Arkansas State for the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff from Cajun Field is slated for 11 a.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
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