Lewis guides Ragin’ Cajuns to first 11-win season with LendingTree Bowl win

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns concluded their 2019 season with the best record in school history. The Ragin’ Cajuns defeated the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, 27-17, in the LendingTree Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

The Ragin’ Cajuns had already had the first 10-win season in their 43-year history. Now, with the Bowl game win, Louisiana has their first 11-win season.

Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis attempts a pass against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks during the LendingTree Bowl
Levi Lewis attempts a pass against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks during the LendingTree Bowl (Photo by the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Department)

“I thought it was a really great game,” Louisiana head coach Billy Napier said. “We had a few undisciplined and uncharacteristic penalties at times, but for the most part I thought we played well. We didn’t turn the ball over and I thought we tackled well. Outside of the one fumble we had early on, I felt we had good ball security and we had some really good practices leading up to the game. We made progress as a team. I thought the bottom half of our roster got better with their opportunities to practice. A lot of that had to do with the fact that we were playing against a really good opponent. Each team had a really good identity and I think that led to a really good football team.”

Louisiana is 5-3 all-time in Bowl games. However, this win snapped their two-game Bowl losing streak.

Their last Bowl win before Monday night came in a 16-3 win over the Nevada Wolf Pack in the R+L Carriers Bowl New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, December 20th, 2014.

Miami (Ohio) is now 5-5 all-time in Bowl games. This is their second straight Bowl loss.

In fact, it has been almost a decade since the RedHawks have won a Bowl game, as they won 35-21 over the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in the GoDaddy.com Bowl (now the LendingTree Bowl) on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis went 19 of 26 for 246 yards. He threw two touchdown passes.

Lewis — who was named the 2020 LendingTree Most Outstanding Player — had eight carries for 62 yards. Ja’Marcus Bradley had seven receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

“I thought Levi’s ability to make plays with his feet was the difference in the game,” Napier said. “He does a really good job of making decisions that help win the game. He does a good job of taking calculated risk. He takes care of the ball. We ask him to do a lot. He’s a really good student of the game.”

RedHawks quarterback Brett Gabbert went 22 of 31 for 248 yards.

Tyre Shelton had six carries for 59 yards. Jack Sorenson had 10 receptions for 107 yards.

The Ragin’ Cajuns led 17-10 at halftime. Lewis hit Bradley for a nine-yard touchdown reception. The duo also connected again for another touchdown, this time for a 12-yard touchdown reception.

“To me he was the difference,” Miami head coach Chuck Martin said of Lewis. “There were a couple of times when they deserved to run or throw the ball well and they do and you give credit to them, but there were a couple of plays that he made that changed the game and changed drives where we had him defensed.  He can wait so long because he knows how quick he is. Twice we blitzed him and he beat us, and I have good players coming off the edge.”

Stevie Artigue also made a 38-yard field goal.

RedHawks’ Jaylon Bester made a one-yard rushing touchdown. Sam Sloman also made a 39-yard field goal.

Louisiana led 10-7 at halftime. Elijah Mitchell scored on a two-yard rushing touchdown. Artigue also made a 33-yard field goal.

Miami’s Bester also made a five-yard rushing touchdown.

Copyright © 2007-2020. The Capital Sports Report. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2007-2020. The Capital Sports Report. All rights reserved.

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