BOONE, N.C. (AP) — It was something put fairly, and at occasions downright nerve-wracking, but coach Billy Napier and Louisiana-Lafayette lastly received the very best of Appalachian State.
No. 20 Louisiana-Lafayette overcame three snaps that sailed over the punter’s head and one other dangerous one on a additional level to beat their Solar Belt rival 24-21 for the primary time on a chilly, wet Friday night time when the Mountaineers’ Chandler Staton missed a 30-yard discipline purpose with 2 seconds left.
Operating again Trey Ragas scored three touchdowns, and Levi Lewis threw for 101 yards and a landing and ran for 77 yards to assist the Ragin’ Cajuns (9-1, 7-1 Solar Belt) beat Appalachian State (7-3, 5-2) for his or her sixth straight win.
“Our children competed and I couldn’t be extra proud,” Napier stated. “We talked all week about being powerful minded, and having a tricky tradition. I feel in the present day is the very best instance of that to date this season. … That’s a tricky place to play and hard circumstances to play in.”
Louisiana-Lafayette was 0-8 towards Appalachian State, together with losses within the final two convention championship video games.
Lengthy snapper Paul Boudreaux turned the unlucky story of the night time.
He put Louisiana-Lafayette in a bind early, twice snapping greater than 10 yards over the pinnacle of the punter within the first half after which sending a excessive snap to the holder on a failed additional level leading to a 10-9 halftime deficit.
Nonetheless, the Ragin’ Cajuns appeared in management after Ragas’ landing runs of 17 and 1 yards within the third quarter made it 24-10.
However after Appalachian State reduce the result in seven on a landing run by Camerun Peoples, Boudreaux remarkably despatched one other snap over the pinnacle of the punter, who chased it down and kicked it out of the again of the tip zone for a security with 6:36 left within the sport — giving the Mountaineers the ball again down by 24-19.
Ferrod Gardner and Chauncey Manac mixed to sack Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas on a fourth-and-9 play on the Lafayette 29.
Nonetheless, Lewis and the offense couldn’t put the sport away. Confronted with a fourth-and-2 state of affairs, Napier made the weird resolution to have Lewis take a snap and retreat into the tip zone for an additional security with 1:46 left as an alternative of going for the primary down or risking one other dangerous snap on the punt.
“Do you need to run the snapper and punter on the market and take a look at it once more?,” Napier stated. “… We felt like the very best alternative to win was to surrender a security there and never quit one other dangerous play.”
Napier stated at that time he wished to place the sport within the fingers of his protection.
It labored, though not with out drama. Appalachian State moved into discipline purpose vary following a defensive go interference penalty close to the tip zone. After taking two photographs on the finish zone, App State went for the sphere purpose with 5 seconds left on the clock however Staton hooked the potential tying discipline purpose extensive left.
“That was aid,” Manac stated.
Thomas 10 of 21 for 92 yards with 2 INTs. He was sacked 3 times. Camerun Peoples ran for 102 yards and a landing for Appalachian State.
“The passing sport was powerful,” Appalachian State coach Shawn Clark stated. “The ball was moist, it was raining and snowing and sleeting a bit of bit. It got here right down to turnovers. We had three turnovers on offense and also you aren’t going to win massive time soccer video games when you have got three turnovers.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns had already clinched a spot within the Solar Belt Convention championship sport towards Coastal Carolina, so the competition was largely about satisfaction. Appalachian State beat Louisiana-Lafayette 4 occasions within the earlier two seasons, twice within the championship sport on this identical discipline.
Thomas entered the sport with 30 profession wins — second solely to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence amongst lively school quarterbacks — however the Ragin’ Cajuns held him to 92 yards passing and two interceptions. He has now thrown 15 interceptions on the season.
Napier didn’t reply to questions when requested if he’ll interview for the vacant South Carolina head teaching job.
Former Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Jake Delhomme launched Lewis remotely throughout pregame introductions. Delhomme, who led the Carolina Panthers to the Tremendous Bowl, is the one ULL quarterback with extra TD passes than Lewis.
Louisiana-Lafayette: It’s potential the Ragin’ Cajuns could also be too scared to ever attempt to punt the ball once more after a disastrous night time for Boudreaux. Regardless, Napier might be going to want to hunt different choices at lengthy snapper.
Appalachian State: The Mountaineers couldn’t get something going offensively, and have been restricted to 290 yards.
Regardless of the close to loss, Louisiana-Lafayette ought to stay in about the identical place within the polls.
Louisiana-Lafayette: Will play at No. 14 Coastal Carolina within the Solar Belt Convention championship sport on Dec. 19. It’s the Ragin’ Cajuns’ third straight look within the convention title sport.
Appalachian State: Head on the street to face Georgia Southern on Dec. 12 within the common season finale.
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