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Billy Napier, Louisiana soccer maintain on to beat App State in Solar Belt Championship recreation

Levi Lewis threw for one landing and ran for an additional within the first half Saturday because the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns beat Appalachian State 24-16 within the the Solar Belt Convention Championship recreation at Cajun Subject.

It was the ultimate recreation as coach of the Cajuns for Billy Napier, who will take over at Florida, and it marks the primary outright Solar Belt championship in UL historical past because the league began sponsoring soccer in 2001.

Up 17-7 at halftime, No. 21 UL (12-1) allowed App State solely a 36-yard Chandler Staton subject objective within the third quarter earlier than Emani Bailey helped make it 24-10 on a 35-yard landing run with simply greater than 12 minutes to go.

App State added a 24-yard TD move from Chase Brice to Thomas Hennigan with simply greater than 5 minutes left, and obtained the ball again once more with 29 seconds left, however UL held on in entrance of an introduced crowd of 31,014.

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UL has received 12 straight since a season-opening to Texas, together with an Oct. 12 win over App State. The Mountaineers (10-3) had their six-game successful streak snapped.

UL misplaced the primary two Solar Belt title video games to App State, in 2018 and 2019. It was to have performed final yr’s at Coastal Carolina, but it surely was canceled as a consequence of COVID-19 points throughout the Chanticleers’ program.

UL took an early 7-0 lead behind a 27-yard move from Lewis to Michael Jefferson, then prolonged it to 14-0 after Lewis ran in from 56 yards out early within the second quarter.

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Camerun Peoples helped lower the Cajun lead in half behind a 43-yard landing run with 2:38 left within the first half, however Nate Snyder made it 17-7 UL on a 33-yard subject with one second left earlier than the break.

Emani Bailey runs loopy

When Bailey scored his fourth-quarter landing, he had 95 yards on 9 carries, most of them coming within the second half.

He went over 100 yards later within the fourth quarter.

Bailey, who missed a part of this season as a consequence of minor surgical procedure, additionally had a loopy completion catch on his greatest recreation with the Cajuns. He’s a part of a three-man working again rotation together with starter Chris Smith and Montrell Johnson Jr.

Emani Bailey (9) seems to be again as UL quarterback Levi Lewis is hit onerous by Appalachian State linebacker D’Marco Jackson (52) through the Solar Belt Convention championship recreation at Cajun Subject.

Levi Lewis was sharp early

Quarterback Levi Lewis appeared terrific on the opening drive of his remaining recreation at Cajun Subject.

The tremendous senior was 4-of-5 for 73 yards on the drive, together with each the TD move to Jefferson and a fourth-and-3 completion to Dontae Fleming.

His 56-yard TD run was the longest of his profession, and the longest because the Solar Belt championship recreation was established in 2018.

Lewis completed the primary half 9-of-18 for 142 yards. He ended up 15-of-30 for 210 yards with no interceptions.

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The Cajun protection

Behind a Zi’Yon Hill sack and and AJ Washington breakup on a deep ball, UL pressured App State to punt twice and held the Mountaineers to simply 24 yards within the first quarter.

App State, in actual fact, was pressured to punt out of its first 4 possessions and 5 of six within the half. Holding the Mountaineers to a subject objective on their third-down scoring drive additionally was massive for UL protection, which has stored the Cajuns in video games for a lot of the season.

Defensive lineman Andre Jones got here up with an enormous play late, sacking Brice as App State went for 2 factors following the Hennigan TD, and Chauncey Manac additionally had a key sack and fumble restoration within the remaining minute.

Nate Snyder was on

Snyder, who took over because the UL starter 5 video games into the yr after Kenneth Almendares sustained a season-ending hip damage, went into the sport 3-of-8 on subject objective makes an attempt.

After making 3-of-4 in an Oct. 30 win over Texas State, Snyder went 4 straight video games with out making a subject objective, a span during which he had simply two makes an attempt.

However he hit his 33-yard later within the first half, a lot to the aid of Napier, who has caught by the switch from Indiana ever since he added subject objective chores to his standard kickoff duties.

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The Ragin' Cajuns take the field for their Oct. 12 win over App State at Cajun Field. The two teams meet again Saturday in the Sun Belt championship game.

The Ragin’ Cajuns take the sector for his or her Oct. 12 win over App State at Cajun Subject. The 2 groups meet once more Saturday within the Solar Belt championship recreation.

This text initially appeared on Lafayette Each day Advertiser: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns soccer beats App State Solar Belt Championship