Appalachian State Explodes Offensively, Earn Second Straight Title
For the second straight year, the Appalachian State Mountaineers hosted the Sun Belt Championship Game welcoming in the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. The score was different this time around but the result was the same as the Mountaineers defeated the Cajuns 45-38 to capture their second Sun Belt Conference Title in as many years.
The difference in this game was the first half where App State punted just once and Louisiana turned the football over on their first drive, missed a field, and punted once as well.
The Mountaineers were surgical on their first five drives scoring touchdowns and against a team like this you HAVE to hold them to at least some field goals and UL simply couldn't do that.
The defense was on the field far too much and they got worn down in that first half.
Appalachian State running back Darrrynton Evans was held in check during the first meeting between these teams but was unleashed in this matchup. In the first half, he was responsible for three scores two through the air and one on the ground.
Louisiana kicker Stevie Artigue hit a monster 53-yard field goal right before the half to bring the Cajuns to within 35-17 as they would receive the second-half kickoff.
Unfortunately, in the second half, the offense sputtered while the defense made adjustments to limit App State.
With the offense, it was two critical turnovers by quarterback Levi Lewis that really hurt UL in this one.
On the first one, it was on their second possession of the second half as Louisiana was driving into Mountaineer territory and Lewis took off to run but tried to make one too many moves and when he got hit he lost the football, App recovered.
The Mountaineers couldn't capitalize and score but on the very next offensive drive for Louisiana, Lewis threw a pick-six right to Josh Thomas. That one felt like a danger against the Cajuns as they trailed 44-17 at that point.
Despite the two crucial turnovers Levi Lewis had a career day from a statistical standpoint as he threw for 354 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He also became the program touchdown passing leader for a single season with 24 passing scores.
Check out the full box score here.
With the loss, the Cajuns fall to 10-3 on the season and 7-2 in the Sun Belt. Louisiana will find out where they'll be bowling on Sunday.