Louisiana football coach Billy Napier opened his post game press conference asking if the media was entertained.
I couldn't help but think of that popular GIF from the movie Gladiator. But an old-fashion, mid-evil, duel is what the Cajuns gave us. And boy, was it fun.
Louisiana led 17-10 late in the fourth after touchdowns from Trey Ragas, and Errol Rogers Jr. With three minutes to play, Eagle's quarterback Shai Wertz connected with Beau Johnson who broke a tackle and dove into the end zone. On the field it was a 57-yard touchdown, but as Johnson dove the ball came out and rolle out of the end zone. It was apparent and after official review, it was Cajuns' ball.
The turnover gave Louisiana a chance to salt things away. Two Ragas runs up the middle netted two yards and after an incomplete pass, Louisiana punted back to Georgia Southern who had one last chance.
Werts, who really testes Louisiana with his passing Saturday, march the Eagles back down the field. He completed all four of his passes on the ensuing drive for 51 yards. His final pass, a 28 yard strike between two defenders to Khaleb Hood pulled Georgia Southern within one. Eagles' coach Chad Lunsford wasn't playing for overtime. Going for two, Werts escaped a sack and completed a pass to Darion Anderson to give Georgia Southern a 18-17 lead.
The Cajuns took possession with 1:34 to play. Louisiana moved the ball. A completion to Ragas, another to Rogers and a second completion to Ragas put Louisiana in deep field goal range with two seconds to play. Nate Snyder, who'd missed a field goal already was just 2-for-6 this season when he ran onto the field. The snap was good, the hold was good, and Snyder's 53-yard field goal was good. The Indiana grad transfer who had struggled at times earned a hero's postgame celebration.
" I watch him every day. Okay. Every Tuesday, every Wednesday, every Thursday and he's lights out," said head coach Billy Napier. "I mean you can see the leg talent when he kicks off, right? He's a very talented young man, and like many of us, he makes some fundamental mistakes, he makes some technical errors an has missed some kicks, but I'm going to tell you, I think that will do him well in terms of developing some confidence."
"I'm real hard on myself about everything," said Snyder. "So, those guys coming up to me and being super supportive has really helped. I credit them for that make because I went out there full confidence, and had a swagger in my walk. And if you looked at my statline you wouldn't think I had any type of confidence, but I did, I felt totally confident.
Louisiana plays next on October 7th, at Appalachian State.
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