LAFAYETTE — There were 1,116 yards and 95 points in the nearly four-hour extreme pinball match between the Ragin’ Cajuns and Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
The game featured an ejection, two missed extra points, a couple decleaters from a missile kicker and four touchdowns that went at least 60 yards.
This must be why the Sun Belt is sometimes called the “Fun Belt.”
But the Cajuns had the most fun. They moved over the .500 mark for the first time since they beat Southern in the season opener in a 55-40 win against their Sun Belt Conference rival Arkansas State.
For the most part, the Cajuns (4-3, 3-0) were in control — but Arkansas State was determined to prove that no lead was ever safe.
Even after the Cajuns built up leads of 25 and 18 points, Arkansas State continually fought back. The Red Wolves scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, and the Cajuns had to recover a pair of onside kicks to keep State from tying the score.
But each time the Red Wolves sniffed a game, they lost the scent when Elijah McGuire touched the ball — and McGuire finally supplied the dagger near the end of the game.
Red Wolves quarterback Fredi Knighten completed a touchdown pass and two-point conversion with 1:12 remaining to bring Arkansas State within eight points of the Cajuns. The onside kick attempt sailed out of bounds, but with two timeouts remaining, the Wolves had a chance to get the ball back.
The Cajuns faced a third-and-10, and it looked like they’d give Arkansas State their chance, but McGuire put an end to that.
Like he’d done so many times Tuesday night, McGuire gashed the Red Wolves defense wide open. He split the middle and outran everybody to the end zone, racing 54 yards for a touchdown to put the game truly out of reach.
McGuire finished the night with a career-high 265 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Cajuns looked like they were going to run away with the game early.
They stormed out to a 34-9 lead by the time the second quarter wasn’t even halfway over thanks to a big-play rushing game that the Red Wolves defense simply wasn’t able to figure out.
The Cajuns hit the Red Wolves on the perimeter with McGuire, then hammered them inside with Alonzo Harris, who had four touchdowns of his own.