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UL running back Montrell Johnson (4) dives in for one of his four touchdown runs during the Cajuns' 42-14 win over Ohio on Thursday.

Now that’s more like it.

The UL Ragin’ Cajuns looked like the balanced offense powered by a dominating rushing attack that produced back-to-back double-digit winning seasons in Thursday’s 49-14 blowout win over Ohio at Cajun Field.

After rushing for only 166 yards in the first two games, the Cajuns ran for 311 yards and five touchdowns in overpowering the winless Bobcats.

True freshman Montrell Johnson led the way with four touchdowns to be the first Cajun to do so since Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris performed the feat against Arkansas State in 2014.

Johnson finished with 13 carries for 84 yards. Emani Bailey added 11 carries for 89 yards, and Chris Smith contributed 11 carries for 68 yards.

Quarterback Levi Lewis hit on 21 of his 29 passes for 214 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Lewis also played a role in the big rushing night with 12 carries for 61 yards in helping the Cajuns post 568 total yards.

The comprehensive triumph for the Cajuns was also illustrated by 11 different Cajuns catching passes from Lewis. Leading that group was Kaleb Carter with three catches for 51 yards.

Chandler Fields finished out UL's scoring with a 13-yard touchdown pass to John Stephens, who had two scoring grabs on the night.

About the only negative in the game for the Cajuns was getting eight penalties for 85 yards after only having eight flags for 65 yards over the first two games.

The first half was mostly what UL fans have been hoping for since the season started.

The Cajuns’ offense showed the ability to run and throw the ball. The defense wasn’t as encouraging in the first half, giving up 104 yards rushing in the first half.

Offensively, though, the Cajuns got things going with a 91-yard scoring drive to get in the board with Lewis hitting on all five passes, including a 46-yarder to Peter LeBlanc over the middle. A 2-yard jump ball touchdown pass to Stephens did the honors for the 7-0 lead midway through the opening period.

After Ohio missed its third of six field goal tries this season – this one from 31 yards out – the Cajuns made it 14-0 with a 10-play, 80-yard drive in 3:34. Completions of 12 yards to Jalen Williams and 16 to Carter set up  Johnson’s 6-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead 41 seconds into the second quarter.

After two UL punts, Ohio really got its running game humming, thanks to backup quarterback Armani Rogers. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder rushed four times for 50 yards in the first half to set up a circus 25-yard pass from quarterback Kurtis Rourke lined up as a wide receiver to running back O’Shaan Allison to make it 14-7 with 2:26 left until halftime.

A quick three-and-out by Ohio’s passing game gave UL a gift possession right before half and the Cajuns took full advantage of it by driving 64 yards on nine plays in 1:14 for a 21-7 halftime lead.

Lewis had runs of 10 and eight yards to the Ohio 1 with one second left. After two timeouts, the Cajuns elected to go for it and Johnson was awarded the 1-yard touchdown run upon review.

The true freshman running back appeared to be stopped, but the officials ruled he stuck the ball on the goal line before going down.

UL outgained Ohio 257-165 in the first half, thanks to a balanced attack of 134 yards passing and 123 rushing.

Bailey led the Cajuns with 48 yards on five carries in the first half.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.