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(Saturday, September 24th)
Final Score: Louisiana 36, FIU 31
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Blaine Gautier threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns bested the FIU Panthers, 36-31, in a Sun Belt Conference game at FIU Stadium.
Gautier added a team-best 86 yards rushing on 15 carries for the Ragin' Cajuns (3-1, 1-0 SBC). Javone Lawson caught three balls for 77 yards and a touchdown, while Ladarius Green collected three passes for 56 yards and a score as well.
Kedrick Rhodes rushed for a game-high 157 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers (3-1, 1-1) on 30 carries. Jake Medlock finished the night 17-of-27 through the air for 216 yards.
Rhodes put the Owls in front with a 43-yard touchdown run just two minutes into the opening quarter.
The Ragin' Cajuns got on the scoreboard halfway through the first quarter via a safety when the Panthers were flagged for offensive holding in their own end zone. Following the subsequent free kick, Louisiana drove into field-goal range to set up Brett Baer for a 48-yard conversion at the five-minute mark. Baer added a second field goal three minutes into the second quarter, from 39 yards away, to give the Ragin' Cajuns an 8-7 lead.
Louisiana extended its lead when Gautier found Green with a 41-yard scoring strike with just under a minute left in the first half.
The Panthers responded with 30 seconds left in the half when Rhodes ran 11 yards for a score to make it a 15-14 game at intermission.
The Ragin' Cajuns extended their lead less than two minutes into the third quarter when Gautier hit Darryl Surgent with a 22-yard scoring pass, but Medlock scored for the Owls on a two-yard run just three minutes later to cut Louisiana's lead to a single point again, 22-21.
Louisiana extended its lead on Alonzo Harris's 13-yard touchdown run with just over eight minutes left in the third period.
Jack Griffin brought FIU closer with a 20-yard field goal a minute into the fourth frame before Gautier found Lawson on a 46-yard touchdown connection less than two minutes later to extend the Louisiana lead to 36-24.
Rhodes scored his third touchdown of the game on a two-yard run with seven minutes left to cut the Louisiana lead to 36-31 but that's as close as the hosts would get.
The Ragin' Cajuns collected 187 rushing yards and averaged 5.7 yards per rush. Louisiana prevailed despite being penalized 11 times for 106 yards.
09/24 23:28:34 ET