Montrell Johnson experienced two fourth-quarter touchdown runs and No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette scored all its points on its closing a few possessions to rally for a 21-17 victory above Georgia State on Thursday evening.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (8-1, 6- Sunshine Belt) locked up the meeting West Division title for the fourth straight time and gained their eighth straight match just after a season-opening loss at Texas. Louisiana-Lafayette also qualified for the Sun Belt championship sport.
Johnson ran for 98 yards, with scoring operates of 3 and 13 yards, the 2nd with 2:32 left to cap a profitable 71-lawn drive. Louisiana-Lafayette held the Panthers on downs at midfield in the last minute.
Ga Condition (4-5, 3-2), winless against the Cajuns in five meetings, took a 17-14 direct with 5:25 left on Tucker Gregg’s 1-lawn operate.
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“We realized this was likely to be difficult,” reported Louisiana-Lafayette mentor Billy Napier, whose team is 14-3 in 1-possession game titles over his four seasons. “We experienced the 5-working day turnaround and were hoping to clinch the West towards a quite underrated workforce. This was a squad that’s won a few in a row and they are really enthusiastic considering the fact that they are nonetheless in the East Division race, and all of a sudden we’re in a dogfight.”
The Cajuns ended up shut out for most of the to start with three quarters by the two-touchdown-underdog Panthers, who took a 10- third-quarter direct on Darren Grainger’s 37-lawn scoring go to restricted stop Roger Carter.
Louisiana-Lafayette experienced scoring probabilities, driving inside of the 10 2 times in the to start with 50 %, but unsuccessful on two fourth-down attempts. Levi Lewis threw incomplete in the close zone on fourth down on Louisiana-Lafayette’s first possession, and was sacked for a 6-lawn decline on fourth down from the 6 just just before halftime.
“We believe that in the price of touchdowns in the pink zone,” Napier said. “You can kick area plans all you want in the purple zone, we did that the first calendar year we ended up right here and it expense us a large amount of game titles. Our men know that we’re heading to be intense.”
The Panthers, who had at least three very first downs on every of their initially-50 % drives, got a 39-yard industry objective from Noel Ruiz, his longest of the year, with 5:05 left in the opening quarter on its initially possession.
Each teams squandered scoring odds before Georgia State manufactured it 10- halfway by the third quarter thanks to the game’s only turnover. Antavious Lane picked off Lewis’ pass at midfield, and Grainger hit restricted finish Roger Carter with a 37-lawn scoring move three plays later.
Lewis arrived back again to lead a 75-yard drive on Louisiana-Lafayette’s upcoming possession, hitting Peter LeBlanc for a 13-yard score with 2:47 still left in the third time period. Then, after forcing a quick Panthers punt, the Cajuns marched 50 yards in only six performs right before Johnson scored from 3 yards out to give Louisiana-Lafayette its to start with guide at 14-10 with 13:11 left.
Ga Point out responded with a 15-participate in, 75-property push, all on the floor, and ate up 7:46 of clock time right before Gregg ran for a vital fourth-down conversion at the Cajuns 1 and then scored just one enjoy later.
Peter LeBlanc, whose greatest outings this yr experienced been four catches for 43 yards, broke free for occupation highs of 9 catches and 118 yards, such as Louisiana-Lafayette’s 1st touchdown on a 13-property catch. Both of those had been large marks for the Cajuns this period.
“Pete was banged up some last year, but we bought him healthful now and he produced some great performs,” Napier reported. “He did a seriously good job managing soon after the catch.”
“We were sputtering all evening on offense,” LeBlanc explained, “so it was terrific to be capable to have individuals probabilities in the next half.”
Louisiana-Lafayette, which was ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll before the opening loss at Texas, broke back into the poll for the 1st time this week and will possible continue to be in the rankings.
Georgia State: The Panthers had a three-game winning streak snapped and will need to get two of their very last a few games to come to be bowl-eligible for the fourth time in the very last 5 several years.
Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns locked up the Sunshine Belt Meeting West Division title, and can host the convention championship recreation with wins in its past two league video games.
Ga Point out: At No. 21 Coastal Carolina on Nov. 13.
Louisiana-Lafayette: At Troy on Nov. 13.