2013, 2014, 34-14, 37-27, 4-3, A-State, Arkansas State University, ASU, Ball State, Cajuns, Centennial Stadium, championship, Chris Murray, Cody Brown, college football, Darion Griswold, defense, drive, Elijah McGuire, field goal, football, four and out, Fredi Knighten, Georgia State Panthers, goal line, halftime, homecoming, incomplete passes, interception, J.D. Houston, Jalen Nixon, Jay Nixon, Johnston White, Jonesboro AR, Khari Lane, Louisiana, Michael Gordon, Money Hunter, photos, pick six, Ragin' Cajuns, Red Wolves, rivals, rushing, Savion Brown, Stevie Artigue, Sunbelt conference, tackles, three and out, turnover, two-point conversion, UL-L, UL-Monroe, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, victory, Warren Wand, Xavier Woodson-Luster
However, the Red Wolves scored only 3 more points in the second half, and the Cajuns came on strong. But the Arkansas State University defense was strong enough to keep UL-L from coming on too strong, so the Red Wolves won 37-27.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had been touted as ASU’s top rival to win the Sunbelt Conference championship. In 2014 UL-L beat the Red Wolves 55-40 Oct. 21 in Lafayette. In 2013 The Cajuns won 23-7 Oct. 22 in Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves are now 4-3 for the season and 3-0 in the conference. The Cajuns are now 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
In the first quarter, the Cajuns had the first possession, led by junior quarterback Jalen (Jay) Nixon, got up to the ASU 24 yard line, but were stopped by the Red Wolves, and a field goal attempt by freshman Stevie Artigue failed.
Next, a drive by the Red Wolves led to a 19-yard touchdown by senior running back Michael Gordon with a missed PAT. So the Red Wolves led 6-0 with 8:13 left in the quarter.
After two three and outs by the Cajuns, a seven-play drive by the Red Wolves concluded with a 21-yard run for a touchdown by sophomore running back Johnston White, with a PAT, to make the score 13-0 with 1:15 left in the quarter.
After a Cajun three and out, a 1½-minute 64-yard Red Wolves drive, led by 39-yard run by freshman running back Warren Wand, was capped by a 2-yard pass to senior tight end Darion Griswald to make the score 20-0 at the start of the second quarter.
Following three and outs by both teams, Red Wolves junior defensive back Cody Brown intercepted a UL-L punt at the Cajun 19-yard line and ran in for the touchdown to make the score 27-0 with 11:29 left in the half.
Then Nixon caught the punt and ran 75 yards for a touchdown, with a good PAT, to make score 27-7 with 11:16 left in the half.
After a series of three and outs a four-play 83-yard Red Wolves drive concluded with a 46-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Murray — a junior who transferred from a Kansas junior college — for a touchdown with 3:55 left in the half, Murray’s first TD for ASU, making the score 34-7.
Then a 10-play 75-yard Cajun drive was capped with a 8-yard handoff from Nixon to junior running back Elijah McGuire to make the score 34-14 with 25 seconds left in the half.
Having the ball at the start of the second half, the Red Wolves got close to the goal line, but failed in a 23-yard field goal attempt. So the score remained 34-14.
Then Red Wolves junior defensive back Money Hunter intercepted the ball in the Ul-L red zone. This time a 42-yard field goal attempt by junior J.D. Houston was good to make the score 37-14.
Louisiana answered with a five-play, 72-yard drive capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass by Nixon to make it 37-21 at the end of the third quarter.
On the next drive ASU senior quarterback Fredi Knighten was intercepted by junior Cajun defensive back Savion Brown at the UA-L 25 yard line. The Cajuns scored seven plays later as McGuire scored on a 20-yard touchdown reception, but the UL-L two-point conversion failed, holding the A-State lead at 37-27 with 11:02 remaining in the game
Filled primarily with three and outs, four and outs and numerous incompletions, neither team scored for the rest of the game. So taking the knee at the end, ASU won 37-27.
The Red Wolves had four players rush for 60-plus yards led by freshman Wand, who had nine carries for 98 yards. Gordon had 14 rushes for 73 yards and a touchdown, and Johnston White added 62 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
Quarterback Knighten was 8-19 passing for 105 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while rushing for 72 yards on 14 attempts
ASU was strong on defense for most of the night. Junior Xavier Woodson-Luster registered eight tackles, six solo stops, with a tackle for loss. Sophomore Khari Lain and Cody Brown each totaled seven tackles. Red Wolves defense forced two turnovers, and held the Cajuns to 6-of-17 on third downs.
The Red Wolves return to Centennial Stadium 6 p.m. Oct. 31 to host the Georgia State University (GSU) Panthers. The Panthers are now 2-4 after defeating the Ball State Cardinals 31-19 in Muncie, Ind. Neither team will play Oct. 24. The Panthers will face UL-L Nov. 7 in Atlanta.
In 2014 the Red Wolves defeated the Panthers 52-10 Oct. 11 in their homecoming game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. In 2013 ASU beat GSU 35-33 Nov. 23 in Jonesboro.
ASU plays the Appalachian State Mountaineers, currently 5-1, Thursday, Nov. 5, in Boone N.C. The Mountaineers play the 5-1 Georgia Southern Eagles Thursday, Oct. 22, in Boone.
UL-L will host to the UL-Monroe Warhawks Oct. 31 in for their Homecoming game at Cajun Field. The Warhawks are 1-5 after losing 15-49 to Appalachian State last Saturday. They play Idaho Saturday, Oct. 24.