Cajuns Pummel Lamar 40-0
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns scored on all eight possessions in the first half and then put it in cruise control as the Cajuns shackled the Lamar Cardinals 40-0 at Cajun Field Saturday night.
The Cajuns (1-0) stayed unbeaten at Cajun Field under second year coach Mark Hudspeth with their sixth straight home win.
Louisiana got on the board after returning the opening kickoff to its 42 yard line. The Cajuns moved to the 35 before stalling and Brett Baer kicked a career long 52 yard field goal to give the Cajuns an early 3-0 lead.
The Cajuns defense then took over as Justin Hamilton sacked LU quarterback Ryan Mossakowski and Justin Anderson pounced on the loose ball at the Lamar 29. Six plays later the Cajuns were in the end zone with quarterback Blaine Gautier finding tight end Jacob Maxwell for the two yard touchdown pass to make the score 10-0 just five and a half minutes into the contest.
Hamilton forced another fumble on Lamar’s next possession, this one by Oklahoma State transfer Herschel Sims. Qyen Griffen recovered the ball and advanced it five yards to the Lamar 25. The Cajuns couldn’t move the football and Baer booted a 40 yarder to make the score 13-0.
Lamar had to punt on its next possession and Javone Lawson fielded the line drive on the dead run and returned it 27 yards to the LU 28. Alonzo Harris got the touchdown on a one yard run on the first play of the second quarter to make the score 20-0. Freshman Montrell Carter got 18 yards on three carries on that drive before injuring a knee. He did not return to the game.
Lamar pinned UL deep in its own territory after another punt, but the Cajuns didn’t stay bottled up long, as Gautier hit Jamal Robinson who turned it into an 86 yard gain down to the Lamar 3 yard line. It was the fourth longest pass play in UL history and the longest non-scoring pass ever. Efrem Reed got the touchdown from two yards out to make the score 27-0.
Two plays later the Cajuns had the ball again as Melvin White forced a fumble by Cory Soto and senior Rodney Gilles, making his first career start, picked up the loose ball and returned it 21 yards to the Lamar 23. Three plays later, Baer tied a school record with his 14th consecutive field goal to make the score 20-0.
The Cajuns defense then came up with its fourth takeaway of the night as Gilles intercepted a deflected pass at the UL 38 and returned it to the Lamar 46. The Cajuns moved to the 15 yard line, with Gautier hitting Lawson for 24 yards on the drive. Baer then made Cajuns history by breaking Mike Lemoine’s record for consecutive field goals with his 15th straight to increase the lead to 33-0.
Another Lamar punt gave the Cajuns the ball at the UL 44. The Cajuns then went on their longest drive, as far as number of plays were concerned, with an eleven play drive that culminated with a two yard pass from Gautier to Lawson with just :12 left until halftime to increase the lead to 40-0. The drive was highlighted by a spectacular diving catch of a Terrance Broadway pass to Harry Peoples.
The Cajuns defense limited Lamar to five first downs and just 85 yards total offense in the first half.
The Cajuns threw the football just seven times in the second half as Coach Mark Hudspeth played a lot of players in the second half. Despite the substitutions, the Cajuns got the shutout, their first in six years.
Baer set a personal record with his 52 yard field goal in the first quarter, broke the school record for consecutive FG makes and tied the school record set by Rafael Septien and Mike Shafer with 16 points, the most ever by a kicker.
Louisiana wound up with 346 yards of offense compared to 194 for Lamar. The Cajuns defense had twelve tackles for loss, led by Hamilton with four.
The opening night crowd of 25,803 braved torrential downpours early in the afternoon and three other showers after the game started.
Louisiana opens conference play next Saturday night at Troy, who defeated UAB on the road in their opener.