The Louisiana football team bounced back from a disappointing midweek loss against Appalachian State by beating their rival Arkansas State Red Wolves on the road to improve to 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in Sun Belt Conference play.
In a rivalry recently dominated by the home team, the Red Wolves opened the game by driving 95 yards on 12 plays to score the first points of the game and take a 7-0 lead.
It took the Ragin’ Cajuns offense three drives until they answered with a nice touchdown drive of their own, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Trey Ragas at the very end of the first quarter.
After Arkansas State scored on a long, 16-play field-goal drive to take a 10-7 lead, the Louisiana rushing attack took control of the game.
Ragin’ Cajuns running back, Elijah Mitchell, was the next to score, completing a nine-play 74-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. After the defense forced a punt, running back, Raymond Calais, rumbled for 80 yards on the first play of the next drive.
An additional field goal with seconds left in the first half gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 24-10 lead behind the efforts of the three Louisiana running backs and solid defensive play after the opening drive of the game.
After scoring on four consecutive drives in the first half, the offense came out flat in the second, allowing the Red Wolves to keep it close.
An interception and two punts by the Louisiana offense were answered by 10 points for Arkansas State, to cut the score to 24-20 early in the fourth quarter.
Mitchell ran for his second touchdown of the game on the next drive, a huge answer to a Red Wolves team gaining confidence. The defense forced a turnover on downs by Arkansas State who needed to respond to Mitchell’s score, and with just over three minutes left in the game, Calais ran for his second touchdown to put the game away at 37-20.
An interception on the last play of the game for the Red Wolves offense gave Louisiana a big road conference victory to get back on track with the season.
In the rivalry between Arkansas State and Louisiana, the home team had won 12 of the last 15 meetings before this game. It is the Ragin’ Cajuns’ first win in Jonesboro, Arkansas since 2013. Louisiana is now 25-20-1 in the rivalry matchup.
The Louisiana offense ran for 315 yards and five touchdowns on 46 rushing attempts. Calais led the team in rushing with 144 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. Mitchell added 109 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Starting quarterback Levi Lewis completed 17 of his 24 passes for 181 yards and an interception. He also ran for 36 yards on five rushes.
The Ragin’ Cajuns victory and loss by the UL-Monroe Warhawks put them on top of the Sun Belt West Division this week.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have a bye week before playing their homecoming game against the Texas State Bobcats on Nov. 2.