December 12, 2017

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Turnovers Costly for Warhawks in Season Finale

(photo courtesy - Jansen A. Nowell, ULM Athletic Media Relations)

MONROE, La. – ULM committed a season-high five turnovers in a driving rainstorm on Saturday afternoon, as the visiting Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns turned the turnovers into 24 points and the Warhawks fell 30-3 in the season finale inside JPS Field at Malone Stadium.

 

THE BASICS

FINAL SCORE: Ragin’ Cajuns 30, Warhawks 3

LOCATION: JPS Field at Malone Stadium

RECORDS: Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6, 5-3 SBC)

Warhawks (4-8, 3-5 SBC)

 

TURNING POINT

-Leading 7-3 after one quarter, the visiting Ragin’ Cajuns turned a pair of Warhawk fumbles into 14 points, scooping the first up for a 73-yard recovery touchdown before adding a second from 29 yards out.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

-The Ragin’ Cajuns intercepted ULM quarterback Caleb Evans’ pass early in the first quarter and turned it into a one-yard touchdown run from Elijah McGuire to score the opening points of the game.

-ULM responded with a Craig Ford 23-yard field goal at the 5:22 mark of the first quarter after getting the ball at midfield via a punt, but the visitors would open the game up in the second quarter with the two fumble recovery touchdowns and added a 26-yard field goal to take a 24-3 lead into the break.

-As the rain continued in the second half, the Ragin’ Cajuns added two final Stevie Artigue field goals – from 35 and 37 yards, to close out the scoring.

 

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE

-Prior to Saturday, ULM had only turned the ball over more than three times once this season (four against Idaho – three interceptions, one fumble). Saturday featured three lost fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

-In the driving rain, both teams struggled to throw the ball, as each side threw two interceptions. ULM pulled down interceptions from Justin Backus and Terry Ausborne.

-The two teams combined to go 5-for-19 with the four interceptions and 31 total yards passing, with all 31 yards coming on ULM’s final drive of the afternoon.

-The Ragin’ Cajun passing attack finished 2-for-5 for zero yards – the first time a ULM defense has held an opponent without a passing yard since September 16, 2000 against Nicholls State.

-ULM totaled 147 offensive yards, with seven different players combining for 116 yards on the ground. All 240 of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ offensive yards were via the ground, led by Elijah McGuire’s 110 yards.

-The Warhawks’ 116 yards rushing snapped a streak of topping 200 yards in each of the last three games. Austin Vaughn led ULM with 11 carries for 61 yards.

-The Warhawks were flagged for four penalties in the game, right on their season average of 4.27 penalties per game, which ranked seventh-best nationally entering the day. However, ULM was averaging just 46.36 penalty yards per game, good for 36th nationally, entering the day and was marked off for 152 penalty yards Saturday.

-The interceptions for Ausborne and Backus were the second of the season for both players and the fifth and sixth for ULM on the season. None of the six interceptions this season were returned for touchdowns, marking the first campaign without at least one pick six in the last five seasons. The last campaign without an interception return for touchdown was 2011.

-ULM finishes the season with three victories inside JPS Field at Malone Stadium for the third time in the last five seasons. The Warhawks have now won three or more games at home in seven of the last 10 campaigns.

Saturday’s contest marked the final collegiate game for 14 ULM seniors: Tre’ Hunter, Jared Mapps, Steven Amoako, Braxton Moore, Alex Johnson, Justin Backus, Ajalen Holley, Nate Meadors, Jeff Savage, Colton Moorehead, Rey Baltazar, Dayton Balvanz, Tre’ Perrier and Alec Osborne.

About Andy Bryson 572 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach

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