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Appalachian State Falls Hard to Ragin’ Cajuns Tuesday Night, 41-13

Photo by Brady McBride

By Tim Gardner

Quarterback Levi Lewis threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Chris Smith added two rushing scores as homestanding Louisiana-Lafayette rolled past Appalachian State 41-13 in a Sun Belt Conference clash Tuesday night before 20,066 at Cajun Field and a national ESPN2 television audience.

Appalachian State (4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt) of the conference’s Eastern Division struggled both offensively and defensively.  Louisiana-Lafayette had six plays that went for 25-plus yards, and two were touchdowns. The Western Division’s Ragin’ Cajuns had more than 200 yards both passing (209) and running the ball (246).  The Louisiana-Lafayette defense had four takeaways against Appalachian State.  And the Mountaineers did not convert a single third down, finishing 0-for-11. They also had their lowest offensive yardage output of the season with only 211 total yards (135 passing and 76 rushing).

The Ragin’ Cajuns (5-1, 3-0 Sun Belt) scored touchdowns on its first three drives and led 20-6 at the half. Eric Garror intercepted a pass on Appalachian State’s opening possession of the second half, leading to Smith’s 21-yard touchdown run with 13:11 to go in the third quarter to boost the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 27-6 lead.

Lewis finished with his team’s entire 209 passing yards and Smith rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries. Montrell Johnson led the Ragin Cajuns in rushing with 103 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown with 10:38 left to cap a 98-yard drive in the fourth period.

Emani Bailey added a 26-yard insurance touchdown run just over two minutes later (8:16) for the Ragin’ Cajuns. 

On the second play of the game, Lewis threw a deep pass down the middle to Kyren Lacy for a 55-yard completion. Lewis then scored six plays later on a 3-yard run. Nate Snyder kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 10:45 left in the opening quarter.

Snyder hit 5-of-6 extra points in the game.

Chandler Staton gave Appalachian State its first points when he booted a 31-yard field goal with 5:58 remaining in the period to make the score 7-3.

But Louisiana-Lafayette scored on two more touchdowns and 1-of 2 extra-point kicks in the quarter to claim a 20-3 cushion.

The first touchdown came when Lewis passed to Lacy down the middle for a 2-yard touchdown at the 3:22 mark.  Snyder made the point-after kick. That scoring drive featured back-to-back 36-yard plays — the first a run and then a pass.

The next score came when Smith rushed up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the period. Snyder missed that extra point kick. That touchdown was set up when the Ragin’ Cajuns sacked Appalachian State quarterback Chase Brice, who attempted a pitch that turned into a fumble that accounted for one of the Mountaineer turnovers. Four plays later, Louisiana-Lafayette scored.

Staton kicked his second field goal–this one from 27 yards—with 44 seconds remaining in the half to cut the deficit to 20-6.

Brice, who went 15-of-26 passing with two interceptions for Appalachian State, ran for a 5-yard touchdown, followed by Staton’s point-after to pull the Mountaineers within 27-13 midway (8:19) through the third quarter.

For complete statistics and further game information, log onto: https://appstatesports.com/documents/2021/10/13/APP06.pdf

Appalachian State next hosts No. 15 Coastal Carolina in a Sun Belt battle on Wednesday, October 20 in Boone. The game starts at 7:30 and it also will be broadcast by ESPN 2. Coastal Carolina beat the Mountaineers last season, 34-23.

App State Drops Cross-Divisional Road Game at Louisiana

From App State Sports News

App State suffered its first Sun Belt Conference loss of the season, falling 41-13 on the road against West Division leader Louisiana on Tuesday night.
With a league win in hand against Georgia State, the Mountaineers (4-2, 1-1) return to division play next Wednesday with a home game against 15th-ranked Coastal Carolina (6-0, 2-0) to determine first place in the Sun Belt East.
Steven Jones Jr. came up with App State’s biggest play of the night in the second quarter, making a leaping interception in the corner of the end zone to prevent Louisiana from adding on to a 20-3 lead as the Ragin’ Cajuns (5-1, 3-0) consumed more than seven minutes with a 13-play drive toward the end zone.
Returning from a second ACL tear to play for the first time in 11 months, Daetrich Harrington gave the Mountaineers a spark with a 9-yard carry on the second play of the next series. Christan Horn’s 14-yard reception moved App State inside the 20, and Chandler Staton’s 27-yard field goal in the final minute of the half cut Louisiana’s lead to 14 points.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took control with a 21-point first quarter, scoring touchdowns on drives of 75 and 87 yards before a fumble recovery created a short field for a third touchdown drive. The only points that App State mustered during that stretch came from a 31-yard field goal by Staton.
The Mountaineers received the ball to open the third quarter, but an interception return inside the App State 20 set up a touchdown run for a 27-6 advantage.
App State responded with a 12-play touchdown drive that included conversions by Henry Pearson (14-yard catch on a fourth-and-10 pass from the Louisiana 37) and Malik Williams (8-yard reception on a fourth-and-2 pass from the Louisiana 15). Chase Brice reached the end zone on a 7-yard keeper midway through the quarter.
The Mountaineers advanced to the Louisiana 32 with an opportunity to trim a 14-point deficit in half, but a sack contributed to that series stalling. A punt from Xavier Subotsch went out of bounds at the 2-yard line, backing up the Ragin’ Cajuns, but they sealed the game with a 13-play, 98-yard touchdown drive that took nearly eight minutes.
App State committed four turnovers, went 0-for-11 on third downs and allowed Louisiana to exceed 200 yards both through the air and on the ground.