Riding a great second half performance from the defense, the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns were completely dominated in the first half, but came back to defeat in-state rival Louisiana Monroe 24-22.
The Warhawks, accumulating only 243 yards last week versus Idaho, had their way early in scoring 24 first half points versus the inept Ragin' Cajuns defense. At halftime, ULM had 235 yards of total offense. The Ragin' Cajuns had 96 yards at the half.
The Ragin' Cajuns actually saw a first quarter break fall their way to start the game, a rare event in 2015. A fumble gave Louisiana the ball on the ULM 26-yard line. The offense was unable to move the ball, with Stevie Artigue drilling a 40-yard field goal to give Louisiana a 3-0 lead.
Needing a response, the Warhawks took over the game with back to back touchdown drives of 75 and 29 yards. The first was a 12 play drive that was capped by a Garrett Smith to Marcus Green 27-yard touchdown pass. The second was a pass to Ajalen Holley for a 29-yard score. They gave ULM a 14-3 lead over the Ragin' Cajuns.
Louisiana responded with a 10-play, 51-yard drive that stalled at the ULM 24-yard line. Another Artigue kick, this time from 41 yards, cut the ULM lead to 14-6. The Ragin' Cajuns defense followed up by seizing the momentum and stuffing the Warhawks defense on a three and out.
Again, the Ragin' Cajuns were stopped short of a touchdown, this time stalling at the 17-yard line. Artigue's third field goal of the day made the score 14-9 in favor of ULM.
Two plays later, Smith struck again with the passing game, hitting a 53-yard pass to Kaylon Watson for a touchdown and a 21-9 lead. The Warhawks added one more score and took a 24-9 lead into the halftime break.
Coming out of the halftime break looking much more composed, Louisiana rolled down field with a 9-play, 65-yard drive. Elijah McGuire broke the touchdown drought with a five-yard touchdown run to pull the Ragin' Cajuns right back in the game at 24-16. After a pair of punts, ULM had a chance to extend their lead, but missed a 35-yard field goal.
Riding a great stop by the defense, the Ragin' Cajuns pulled to within 24-22 on a Brooks Haack 13-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good, but Louisiana was withing two points at 24-22.
The Louisiana defense again came up big in forcing ULM to punt for the fourth time in the second half. McGuire returned the punt to the ULM 27-yard line, giving the Ragin' Cajuns to take the lead. Artigue came on for a 37-yard field goal, but it was no good, keeping the score 24-22 in favor of ULM.
The Cajuns defense gave the offense one more chance to take the lead. This time Haack found Jamal Robinson for a 64-yard touchdown pass to give Louisiana a 28-24 lead, pending the PAT. A two-point conversion by McGuire extended the lead to 30-24 with 3:10 left in the game.
The Cajun defense finished with a sack and fumble recovery to cap off the 30-24 win.
Louisiana has a chance to get back to .500 on the season next Saturday with a trip to Georgia State to face the Panthers.