JONESBORO — Louisiana-Lafayette finally got the upper hand on Arkansas State … and along with that, first place in the Sun Belt Conference.
Behind Terrance Broadway’s 205 yards on 18-of-28 passing and Elijah McGuire’s 110 yards on 10 carries, the Ragin’ Cajuns took the inside track on the conference championship race with a 23-7 win against the two-time defending Sun Belt Conference champions in front of a national-television audience Tuesday night.
Louisiana-Lafayette (5-2, 3-0 Sun Belt) held a 17-0 lead before Arkansas State (3-4, 1-1) finally got on board on a 3-yard rush by quarterback Adam Kennedy with 3:39 left before halftime. The six-play, 39-yard scoring drive was set up by Rocky Hayes’ interception with 5:40 left.
A-State forced a punt on the next series but could not convert on a fourth-and-2 pass attempt. That left ULL with 64 seconds left for its next possession, and the Ragin’ Cajuns capitalized with a Stephen Brauchle field goal from 38 yards out to make it 20-7 at halftime.
Brauchle, who opened the scoring with a 36-yard try in the first quarter, connected from 30 yards out with 3 seconds left in the third quarter to set the final score. Brauchle missed an attempt as well.
A-State gave up two 100-yard rushers. Alonzo Harris scored two first-half touchdowns and finished with 105 yards on 29 carries. Both of Harris’ touchdown runs were from 3 yards out.
Most of McGuire’s 110 yards came on a 70-yard sprint to the Red Wolves’ 15 in the second quarter. Harris scored four plays later to make it 17-0.
The Cajuns’ defense slowed down the Red Wolves’ backfield. Michael Gordon led A-State with 31 yards on seven carries, and Kennedy netted 24 yards on 10 attempts.
Kennedy completed 11 of 20 passes for 89 yards. J.D. McKissic caught six passes for 51 yards, and Ryan Carrethers finished with 16 tackles (six solo) for the Wolves. Watson Chapel graduate Kyle Coleman added four tackles.
Arkansas State will return to action Nov. 2 at South Alabama.