LAFAYETTE — As Georgia State took the lead against UL-Lafayette with 4:38 to play in the fourth quarter Saturday night, the atmosphere at Cajun Field seemed deflated.
UL-Lafayette had to rely on backup quarterback Brooks Haack to deliver a game-winning drive with starting quarterback Terrance Broadway out with leg cramps.
Haack was lights-out, going 4-of-4 on the drive for 50 yards, giving Broadway a chance to win it when he returned to the huddle. Broadway delivered a game-winning 21-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Robinson, and the Ragin’ Cajuns went up 34-31.
“Don’t give me the credit,” Broadway said. “Brooks Haack was ready to go and put us in that situation. Without the effort that he had, and without the work that he put in, we aren’t in that situation.”
Robinson, in his first game back after knee surgery, had eight catches for 119 and two touchdowns. The game-winner, a little streak route into the end zone, came from Broadway — but Robinson said he had confidence in Haack to get them in that position.
“He does it every day in practice,” Robinson said. “He throws a good, accurate ball, and I had faith in him to come in and make plays.”
The offense’s two third-down conversions on the game-winning drive got two players involved that coach Mark Hudspeth had hoped to get more involved.
On third-and-two, Haack threw it to Larry Pettis, who came down with an amazing 18-yard catch to convert.
“We probably didn’t recognize Larry enough for making that catch,” Hudspeth said. “That was just as big as Al Riles’ catch.”
The Riles catch Hudspeth mentioned was on a third-and-four, when Haack scrambled, broke a tackle and threw a strike to Riles, who dove for a 22-yard gain, barely getting his foot in bounds.
Hudspeth said it was great to see so many guys making impactful plays.
“Haack came in and goes 4-for-4 and scrambles and makes that play,” Hudspeth said. “That is just guys doing what they do, and it was great to see.”
Despite Haack’s stellar play on the drive, Hudspeth decided to bring Broadway back for what ended up being the final play of the drive. Broadway delivered a strike to Robinson in the end zone for the game-winner.
“(Broadway) is a guy we have a lot of confidence in,” Hudspeth said. “He and Jamal are a pretty good one-two combination, and I felt like with the game on the line, we have a guy who has been in a lot of battles. He’s been in the foxhole and I hope the fans tonight say some good things about Terrance Broadway. He played injured all night with cramps, and I am proud of the way he played.”
Hudspeth said the score was closer than he would have liked, but getting back on the winning track was a much-needed “shot in the arm.”
“You should have seen that locker room (after the game),” Hudspeth said. “Winning is fun. Our kids just wanted to get that first win and get that shot of confidence. When the game was on the line, we found a way, and some guys stepped up and made plays.”