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First game dropped at Lafayette

By Jonathan Rhodes
On September 7, 2017

The Lion's football team prepared for the upcoming season, playing a scrimmage match during their fall camp. The Lions have started off the season with their first loss. Jonathan Rhodes/ The Lion's Roar

The Lions football team lost their first game of the season against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 51-48. The game was the first matchup between the two teams since 1981 in a rivalry that was once annual from 1946 to 1972.

Head Coach Ron Roberts liked the Lions’ first performance of the season but had hoped for a different ending to the game.

“I think our guys played, but we could have played better,” said Roberts. “We made some mistakes that cost us some opportunities to win at the end.”

On the final drive of the game, the Lions went 95 yards and scored a touchdown to put themselves within one point of being tied. The Lions then decided to go for two and take the lead. Sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Nunez was tackled while throwing the ball, and the Ragin’ Cajuns scored two points off of the fumble.

Despite the result, Roberts believes that he made the right decision to go for two.

“In those situations when you have a chance to win and you are a few yards away and it’s the last play of the game, you make the decision that gives your team the best chance of winning,” said Roberts.

The Lions got 514 yards of total offense, and 343 of those yards was through the running attack of senior running back Eugene Bethea and junior Julius Maracalin. Nunez started his first game for the Lions and threw for 171 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Roberts liked what he saw from Nunez in his first start.

“I thought he did a good job,” said Roberts. “I know he will learn from experience, but we’re really pleased with the way he handled everything.”

The Lions’ next game will be against Bethune-Cookman University in Strawberry Stadium on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. The Lions have some adjustments to make before they will be ready for their home opener.

“We gave up a lot of huge plays that we can’t do again on defense,” said Roberts. “Our biggest focus right now is to make corrections on our special teams.”

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