Ragin’ Cajuns outrun Panthers

Jason Mussell

In the penultimate home game of the season, Georgia State hosted conference-leader Louisiana-Lafayette in a game that showcased two high-powered offenses. The Ragin’ Cajuns were riding a seven-game win streak coming into the contest and Georgia State was trying to avoid its 10th loss in a row. The Panthers relied on senior wide receiver Albert Wilson for some big plays, but the defense just couldn’t slow down Louisiana-Lafayette which won 35-21.

Louisiana-Lafayette quickly took the lead with an 80-yard rushing touchdown from Elijah McGuire in the first quarter. Georgia State had more yards of offense in the first quarter, 127-116, but two costly fumbles kept the Panthers from getting on the scoreboard. The first quarter ended with Louisiana-Lafayette fumbling on its own 15 which was recovered by Georgia State. Travis Evans scored 34 seconds into the second quarter on a five-yard rushing touchdown tying the game 7-7.

The teams combined for 589 yards of offense in the first half, and if it weren’t for some costly turnovers the score would have been even higher going into halftime. Georgia State quarterback Ronnie Bell had his pass intercepted in the endzone by Trevence Patt, and the Ragin’ Cajuns scored a 50-yard touchdown pass from Terrance Broadway to Darryl Surgent on the ensuing drive. Later in the second quarter Louisiana-Lafayette fumbled in the redzone which the Panthers turned into a 42-yard touchdown pass from Bell to Keith Rucker.

This game was truly a barnburner as both offenses had more than 350 yards of offense before the beginning of the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter started with a fake punt by Georgia State where punter Matt Hubbard ran 15 yards, lowered his shoulder, and picked up the first down for the Panthers. However, the Ragin’ Cajuns defense held strong and forced Georgia State to turn the ball over on downs after a failed fourth-and-three attempt. Georgia State’s defense couldn’t answer with a defensive stop of its own, and it ended up costing the Panthers the game.

In a game that resembled a track meet more than a football game, it was a late defensive stand by Louisiana-Lafayette that ended up deciding the game. The teams combined for over 800 yards of total offense, but Georgia State couldn’t pick up a 4th and three late to stay in the game. The Ragin’ Cajuns climb to 8-2 while handing Trent Miles and Georgia State its 10th loss of the season. The Panthers will try to capture that elusive first victory on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Arkansas State.

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