STATESBORO, Ga. – Running backs Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell each scored twice on the ground on Saturday night to power Louisiana to a 37-24 road victory over Georgia Southern at Allen E. Paulson Stadium.
With the win, Louisiana (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) has claimed its first victory in a league opener since it defeated South Alabama, 28-23, on Sept. 17, 2016.
The Ragin' Cajuns had another strong game on the ground, compiling 275 rushing yards against the Eagles. Ragas led the way with 16 carries for 131 yards and two scores, while Mitchell produced 81 yards and two scores on 14 carries.
Quarterback Levi Lewis had an efficient outing that kept the offense balanced, throwing for 165 yards (11-for-18) and one touchdown. His primary target was Jamal Bell, who hauled in three passes for 35 yards.
On defense, Louisiana held Georgia Southern (1-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) to just 37 yards through the air and 252 yards overall. Senior Jacques Boudreaux paced the defense with a season-high 12 tackles, one of which was for a loss.
The Ragin' Cajuns wasted no time getting to the end zone, taking the ball 75 yards in 1:18 before Mitchell scored his eighth touchdown of the season to put Louisiana ahead, 7-0, early in the first quarter.
Following two Georgia Southern field goals, Louisiana put together another nice drive that was capped off by a three-yard touchdown scamper by Ragas, his fifth of the season, to extend the lead to 14-6.
Louisiana got off to a great start in the second half, forcing a three-and-out on defense before the offense drove the ball down the field to the Georgia Southern 1-yard line. Needing a big play on fourth down, Lewis connected with Bradley to push the advantage to 24-13 with 8:04 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles answered with a touchdown at the end of the third quarter and converted on the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 24-21 with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Mitchell punched in his second score of the day on the next drive, evading tackles and cruising into the end zone from 19-yards out to extend the lead out to 31-21. The dagger came at the 2:34 mark in the final period when Ragas scored from a yard out to cap off a six-play, 75-yard drive and secure the 37-24 victory.
Louisiana returns home on Wednesday, Oct. 9, when it faces off with Appalachian State in a rematch of last season's Sun Belt Conference Championship Game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
The mid-week game has several exciting promotions attached, including a Festivals Acadiens et Creoles kickoff prior to game time, as well as the evening serving as "Ladies Night". Special $7 tickets are available, as well as McDonald's Family Four-Packs at just $12.50 per ticket. Visit RaginCajuns.com/Tickets to begin the ordering process.
More information can be obtained by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome, (337) 265-2170, or by visiting the office in-person. For information on parking passes, contact RCAF by phone at (337) 851-2903.