Cajuns End Season With Win
A blocked extra point by Cooper Gerami prevented La.-Monroe from completing a fourth quarter comeback and allowed Louisiana to hold on for a 23-22 victory in the 2010 season finale Saturday evening at Malone Stadium.
The win was the third straight for the Cajuns (3-9, 3-5 Sun Belt) over the Warhawks (5-7, 4-4 Sun Belt) and ended the squad’s seven-game losing streak.
The Cajuns held a 23-13 lead going into the fourth quarter, but nearly saw the lead disappear when La.-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning scored from 10 yards out on a keeper to with 4:55 remaining to draw the Warhawks within one point, 23-22.
Gerami blocked Radi Jabour’s extra point attempt to preserve the Cajuns lead and the offense rolled 3:03 off the clock with a six-play drive that covered 70 yards down to the Warhawks goal line.
Chris Masson had a pass intercepted in the end zone by Alex Ibe with 1:52 remaining, but the Cajuns defense shut down Browning on four consecutive pass attempts from the Warhawks one-yard line to lock up the victory.
Masson, making his first start since Oct. 30 at Ohio, completed 21-of-43 passes for a career-high 330 yards and two touchdowns. Masson’s passing yardage moved him over 4,000 yards (4,320 actual) in his career becoming just the sixth Cajuns quarterback to reach the mark.
Mackey Award semifinalist Ladarius Green finished with six receptions and 120 yards receiving – his third consecutive outing with 100-plus yards. The receiving yardage was a season-high for Green and moved him into seventh place in school history for career receiving yards (1,595).
Senior linebacker Grant Fleming recorded a game-high 17 tackles which establishes a new standard for the Ragin’ Cajuns in Sun Belt play, besting the previous high watermark of 15 by Stanley Smith against Troy on Nov. 13, 2004.
The Warhawks scored on the game’s opening possession. Browning connected with Keavon Milton in the back of the end zone at 12:00 to cap off a 7 play, 55-yard drive for a 7-0 lead.
A fumble on a punt return by Orkeys Auriene led to La.-Monroe adding a Jabour field goal at 6:50 that opened a 10-point edge.
Masson’s first completion to Green was a 39-yard pickup that set up the Cajuns first-and-goal from the Warhawks’ nine-yard line. The Cajuns came away with a 25-yard field goal from Brett Baer at 2:07 cutting the Warhawks’ lead to 10-3.
A 24-yard kickoff return by Jyruss Edwards allowed La.-Monroe to start the ensuing possession at their own 39-yard line.
Back-to-back rushes by Frank Goodin produced 16 yards then a 20-yard completion from Browning to Tavarese Maye moved La.-Monroe to the UL 25. The Warhawks added a 40-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter to regain a 10-point edge, 13-3, at 14:55.
A 73-yard touchdown pass from Masson to Aaron Spikes came with 8:15 remaining before halftime and cut the Cajuns deficit to 13-10.
The Warhawks threatened to return the lead to 10 points, marching to the UL 4. Lionel Stokes intercepted a Browning pass in the end zone at 4:50 to keep the deficit at three points.
On the third play of the second half, Masson found James Butler deep over the middle for a 45-yard completion to the ULM 29. UL would come away with a 31-yard field goal from Baer to even the score at 13-all at 12:16 of the third quarter.
Baer’s onside kick was recovered by Auriene at the UL 41. The Warhawks defense forced a punt, but a fumble by Robert Nelson on the return was recovered by the Cajuns at the Warhawks 16-yard line. Another Baer field goal, this one from 32 yards out, gave the Cajuns their first lead of the game at 8:55.
After a defensive stop, Louisiana produced a 15 play scoring drive that covered 83 yards in 6:51 and ended with Masson tossing a five-yard touchdown pass to Green which increased the Cajuns lead to 23-13 with 0:35 left in the third quarter.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Louisiana 3 7 13 0 23
La.-Monroe 10 3 0 9 22
ULM Milton 1 pass from Browning (Jabour kick) 12:00, 1st
ULM Jabour 34 FG, 6:50, 1st
UL Baer 25 FG, 2:07, 1st
ULM Jabour 40 FG, 14:55, 2nd
UL Spikes 73 pass from Masson (Baer kick), 8:15, 2nd
UL Baer 31 FG, 12:16, 3rd
UL Baer 32 FG, 8:55, 3rd
UL Green 5 pass from Masson (Baer kick), 0:35, 3rd
ULM Jabour 28 FG, 9:33, 4th
ULM Browning 10 rush (Jabour kick blocked), 4:55, 4th
– Ragin’ Cajuns –
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisiana