After more than two hours worth of rain and lightning delays, the UL-Monroe Warhawks returned to their home turf and scored a last-second touchdown to get to 2-0 on the season, beating the Idaho Vandals 38-31.
Pete Thomas proved that he deserved the starting job to open the season, throwing for 384 yards on 24 of 44 attempts to go with two early touchdowns.
The Vandals got off to a quick 7-0 lead before Thomas hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Ajalen Holley on two big plays, one for a 58-yard touchdown. Holley finished with a career-best 175 yards on six catches, 114 of which came in the first quarter.
Shortly after the touchdown to Holley, lightning struck Monroe. The refs decided to suspend the game until the storm passed, which ultimately took two hours and seven minutes. It was the second week in a row that the Vandals had to wait out a rain storm. At least this week they got to finish out the game.
The Vandals dominated the second quarter and knotted up the game at 21, but Warhawks special teams standout Justin Manton was able to kick a field goal just before the half to take ULM into the locker room with a lead.
With the game tied at 31 with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Thomas got his chance to lead yet another fourth quarter game-winning drive, and he would not disappoint. He threw a beautiful 29-yard pass to Kenzee Jackson to get to the Idaho 44-yard line, then let Tyler Cain take a short pass down to the eight. From there, it was all Centarius Donald, who finished with 111 yards and three touchdowns. It took him two tries to get to the endzone and the game-winning score with just nine seconds left.
It is slightly disconcerting that the Warhawks defense let a first-time starting quarterback leading what was perceived to be a fairly mediocre offense score 31 points. But more importantly, ULM is 2-0 and 1-0 in the Sun Belt. And Thomas looked confident and exactly the leader Todd Berry anticipated he would be when he named Thomas as the starting quarterback.
ULM goes on the road next week to take on LSU, which beat up on Sam Houston State 56-0 on Saturday.