PINEVILLE, La. (LC) - Behind a record-setting offensive performance, the Louisiana College football team secured their first non-losing season since 2014 with a 45-13 senior day win over Howard Payne University Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats finish 2018 with a 5-5 overall record and 5-4 mark in American Southwest Conference play.
The Wildcats racked up 750 yards of total offense in the game, the most since a 709-yard effort against Mississippi College during the 2012 season. Three consecutive touchdown drives of over 90 yards in the first half made setting the record a real option as LC totaled 447 yards through the first 30 minutes of play.
The Wildcats took the lead mid-way through the first on back-to-back long passes from Mason Jordan to Leondre James and Drake Battaglia. Battaglia’s 15-yard touchdown catch gave LC the lead and started the senior what would turn into a career game. The Thibodaux native tallied eight catches for 167 yards and added another 77 on the ground for 244 all-purpose yards with three total touchdowns.
A 59-yard pass from Jordan to Micah Dunn set up the next Wildcat score on their next possession as Connor Maples punched it in from a yard out to cap off a 91-yard drive. On their next turn with the football, after a Joshua Pickett interception on the 1-yard line, Jordan hit Battaglia for his second score from 14-yards out to give LC the 21-0 lead. Another HPU turnover, this time a fumble at the one, set up the second straight 99-yard touchdown drive, this one ending on a 75-yard run from Battaglia, giving LC the 28-0 halftime lead.
Howard Payne came out with the first score of the second half on their first possession, but the Wildcats were able to answer two drives later on a Landon Lalonde rushing score, the first rushing touchdown for the freshman quarterback, to push the lead back to four touchdowns. HPU scored once more in the third but the game was well in the hands of the Wildcats by that point.
The Wildcats finished the offensive explosion with a 19-yard rushing touchdown by Melvin Young III with 9:55 left in the game, and a 37-yard field goal by Curtis Sebren with 47 seconds left on the clock. The Wildcat defense forced four turnovers in the game setting up the offense for the big game. Julius Johnson forced a fumble, Joshua Pickett picked off an HPU pass, and Travon Long had an interception of his on a forced another fumble in the game, adding a sack and eight tackles for one of the defensive seniors best games at LC.
The Wildcats close the season at 5-5 overall and complete their first non-losing season since 2014. It is also the first time since that year that LC finishes with a winning record in ASC play. All-ASC honors will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay connected to Louisiana College football during the offseason by following @LC_ftball on Twitter. For general athletics news follow @LC_Wildcats on Twitter or like Louisiana College Wildcats on Facebook.