Sept. 8, 2007
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LAFAYETTE, Louisiana - Ohio running back Kalvin McRae rushed for three touchdowns and added another on a long screen pass to lead the Bobcats to a 31-23 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Ragin' Cajuns held a 20-10 halftime lead but McRae (Decatur, Ga.) and the Bobcats (2-0) would not be denied. In the third quarter the senior running back scored his second touchdown of the game, the first on the ground, with a tough run in between the tackles for a five yard touchdown which brought the Louisiana-Lafayette (0-2) lead down to 20-17 with 3:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The Ragin' Cajuns extended their lead to 23-17 with a field goal but McRae was just starting his scoring spree. Late in the third quarter, after a 21-yard Brad Bower (Burr Ridge, Ill.) pass to Andrew Mooney (Lubbock, Texas), McRae came back into the game with the Bobcats in the red zone. The senior pounded the ball into the end zone for a 15-yard score as the fourth quarter began, this third time touching pay dirt in the ball game. The touchdown put the Bobcats up 24-23.
With the high-octane spread offense of Louisiana-Lafayette, which totaled 534 total yards in the contest, it was the Ohio defense's turn to make an impact. Ragin' Cajun quarterback Michael Desormeaux was sacked by Kris Luchsinger (Dublin, Ohio) on a fourth-and-seven situation at the Ohio 45-yard line. The sack not only kept Louisiana-Lafayette from continuing the drive but put the football back into the Bobcat offense's hands - which proved to be a dangerous place in the second half.
With just over five minutes remaining in the contest, after another Mooney catch brought the ball to the ULL 25 yard line, McRae tacked on his fourth touchdown on a 13 yard run three plays later which sealed the deal and the Bobcats second straight win of the 2007 season.
McRae finished with 20 carries and 84 yards and he also caught three passes for 52 yards.
"Really a tremendous effort by him," said head coach Frank Solich about McRae. "Blocking, running, receiving - I have a lot of respect for what he does. The offensive line was strong in the second half and we got the ground game going which really helped."
Bower and the Bobcat passing game was also firing on all cylinders. The senior transfer from Illinois threw for 264 yards on 17-of-28 passing. His 64-yard strike to senior Justin Fitzgerald (Richmond, Va.) on third-and-long in the second quarter set up Michael Braunstein's (Gilbert, Ariz.) lone field goal of the game.
While the Bobcats' 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter ended the game, the Ragin' Cajuns started the scoring in the contest when wide receiver Richie Falgout threw a 28 yard pass to freshman Lance Kelley on the opening drive of the game.
The Bobcats answered with McRae's first touchdown, a 44-yard screen pass from Bower, but Desormeaux came right back with a 16-yard touchdown pass to 6-foot-7 senior Jordan Jackson in the corner of the end zone. He added another touchdown pass, this time finding his fullback Adbule Levier for a 12-yard strike, as time expired in the second quarter.
Desormeaux finished the game with 234 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-25 passing. The junior also accounted for 101 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Louisiana-Lafayette running back Tyrell Fenroy eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark as well with a game-high 136 yards on 24 carries.
Despite allowing two one-hundred-yard rushers, the Bobcat defense was stout when it needed to be.
Desormeaux drove the Ragin' Cajuns 75 yards down the field in under 4 minutes before junior defensive tackle Landon Cohen (Spartanburg, S.C.) fell on a fumble by ULL's Louis Lee at the Ohio 4-yard line - thwarting Louisiana-Lafayette's own comeback attempt.