PINEVILLE, LA. (KALB) - The Louisiana College football team made their first American Southwest Conference of the season and engaged in a four-quarter battle with the Southwestern University Pirates on Saturday night. The defensive unit made play after play throughout the second half as they Wildcats held on for the dramatic 21-19 victory. LC will travel farther west next week as they try to make it two in a row this year against Sul Ross State University.
After the Wildcats punted on their first possession of the game, Southwestern took their second drive of the game in for a touchdown as the play-action fake drew the corner in just enough to create space for the 20-yard pass to put the Pirates up 7-0. It would only take seven plays for the Wildcats to answer as Skyler Bonneau made two big throws to Drake Battaglia and JoJo Robinson to set up the game tying 19-yard strike to Battaglia with 3:25 left in the first.
The Pirates took the lead back by converting a short field into a field goal following a strip sack of Bonneau and adding another field goal after an interception later in the second quarter going ahead 13-7. With 3:02 left in the first half the Wildcats got the ball back and put together an important drive heading into the break. Bonneau found Robinson three times on the drive for a total of 61 yards to set up the short touchdown pass to Zion Williams that would give the Wildcats the lead with 16 second remaining in the half.
Neither team would threaten the endzone through the majority of the third quarter until the Wildcats thwarted a fake punt opportunity to get the ball at the Southwestern 40-yard line. LC would take advantage of the good field position and punch it in on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Bonneau to Robinson to push the lead to 21-13. With the lead and the ball back with 8:27 remaining in the game, the Wildcat offense would be forced to punt and put the defense on the field for one final test in order to get the win.
The LC defense would stand their ground when they needed it the most with their backs against the wall against a tough, physical ground attack. Southwestern ate up more than five of the final seven minutes of the game on their final scoring drive that ended on a fourth down touchdown pass with 1:31 left on the clock. Forced to go for the two-point conversion to try and tie the game, the LC defense stood tall, forcing a fumble and ending the Pirates hopes of winning the game. With no timeouts remaining Leondre James pounced on the Pirates’ onside kick attempt and two kneel downs later the Wildcats had their first conference road win of the season.
“Tonight I got to find out that I have a team, that may be young but will battle,” Head Coach Justin Charles said. “We overcame a lot of different obstacles tonight where it seemed like our backs were against the wall on offense or defense and we overcame.”
The Wildcats travel to Alpine, Texas next week for another ASC matchup with Sul Ross State. Stay connected to Louisiana College football by following @LC_ftball on Twitter. For general athletics news follow @LC_Wildcats on Twitter or like Louisiana College Wildcats on Facebook.