La.-Lafayette tops ECU in New Orleans Bowl, 43-34
Terrance Broadway wasn't projected as Louisiana-Lafayette's starting quarterback heading into this season. Now he's a bowl game MVP.
Broadway passed for 316 yards and ran for 108, helping Louisiana-Lafayette repeat as winners of the New Orleans Bowl with a 43-34 victory against East Carolina on Saturday.
Alonzo Harris rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns for the Ragin' Cajuns (9-4), who briefly squandered a three-touchdown lead before moving back in front for good on Broadway's 14-yard scoring pass to Javone Lawson late in the third quarter.
Brett Baer added his second and third field goals in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Broadway, who took over as starter after senior Blaine Gautier's injury in late September, also ran for a 12-yard score.
Shane Carden passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns for East Carolina (8-5) but was intercepted in Cajuns territory by Jemarlous Moten in the fourth quarter as ECU drove for a potential tying or go-ahead score. The Pirates' Reggie Bullock rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Carden's touchdowns went to Justin Hardy for 19 yards and Danny Webster for 16 yards. Hardy finished with five catches for 59 yards. East Carolina's Andrew Bodenheimer had five catches for a team-high 65 yards, but could not secure a crucial fourth-down pass in the final minutes as defensive back T.J. Worthy ripped the ball away in ECU territory. That allowed the Cajuns to run the clock down to 15 seconds before setting up Baer's final field goal from 40-yards out.
Jamal Robinson had six catches for 116 yards for ULL, while Lawson finished with four catches for 71 yards.
The Cajuns carried a 37-31 lead into the fourth quarter after Lawson for a 14-yard score in which the receiver juggled but secured the ball for a sprawling, rolling catch. The point-after kick failed, however, and East Carolina pulled to 37-34 on Warren Harvey's 26-yard field goal.
Broadway's lone interception on a tipped pass then gave East Carolina the ball on the Cajuns 39, but Moten was able to step in front of Carden's long pass over the middle to help preserve the slim lead.
With Lafayette a drive of about two hours west of New Orleans, red-clad Cajuns fans came in droves and made up the bulk of a record New Orleans Bowl crowd of 48,828, and they were celebrating early.
Broadway's scoring run, his ninth rushing TD of the season, gave ULL a 7-0 lead on the Cajuns' first series of the game and Harry Peoples' 10-yard scoring run pushed the lead to 14-0.
ECU didn't get a first down until early in the second quarter, when Carden converted on third-and-long with a pass to left sideline, which Jabril Solomon turned into a 45-yard gain. That set up Bullock's first touchdown from 5 yards out to make it 14-7.
Harris' two scores had the Cajuns seemingly in command at 28-7, but ECU responded with two touchdowns in a span of 13 seconds off the clock to make it a one-score game again.
First came Hardy's leaping, outstretched grab in the back of the end zone to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Then Darryl Surgent fumbled a kickoff return, giving ECU the ball on the Cajuns 16. Carden found Webster over the middle for a score on the next play to make it 28-21.
Louisiana-Lafayette was able to regain some momentum in the final 37 seconds of the first half, driving 47 yards on five plays to set up Baer's 50-yard field goal, which was the same distance and direction as his game-winner at the end of last year's New Orleans Bowl.
The Pirates tied it in the third quarter on Harvey's 45-yard field goal and Bullock's 13-yard scoring run, capping a drive that included a converted fourth-and-3.