McGuire Helps Cajuns Run Past Demons

LAFAYETTE – Elijah McGuire recorded four of his school-record tying five rushing touchdowns in the first half leading the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns to a 44-17 victory over Northwestern State Saturday evening at Cajun Field.

McGuire's five rushing TDs matched the record established by Brian Mitchell (vs. Lamar, 1989) and reached by Alonzo Harris (vs. New Mexico State, 2013). The junior running back accumulated 162 rushing yards on 14 carries, the bulk of the 360 rushing yards Louisiana totaled as a team.

Brooks Haack started at quarterback and completed 7-of-8 passes for 187 yards. He added 51 yards rushing on six attempts.

Devin Scott led Cajuns receivers with 90 yards. Jamal Robinson hauled in two receptions for 68 yards, netting 58 yards on a third-quarter reception that set up the Louisiana's final touchdown of the night.

Tracey Walker topped the Louisiana defense with nine tackles (seven solo). Zachary DeGrange recorded six tackles and had a team-high two for a loss (one sack).

The Ragin' Cajuns (1-1) won their home opener for the fifth straight season under Mark Hudspeth and eighth straight season overall (2008-15).

Louisiana received the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards over six plays capped by a seven-yard touchdown run from McGuire at 13:01 for a quick 7-0 lead. After a defensive stop, McGuire scampered 88 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive to open a 14-0 advantage at 9:07.

The Demons (0-2) cut their deficit in half at 10:17 of the second quarter on a 41-yard touchdown run by Chris Jones. The Cajuns answered quickly to reclaim a double-digit lead. Facing third-and-15 at the NSU 25, Haack scrambled 22 yards to set up a three-yard touchdown run by McGuire to extend the lead to 20-7 with 3:55 remaining before halftime.

A sack by DeGrange pinned the Demons at their own four yard line which resulted in a short punt that placed the Cajuns at the NSU 40. Three plays later, McGuire found the end zone for the fourth time in the opening stanza on a 24-yard score that increased the lead to 27-7.

NSU converted a fake punt attempt on the opening possession of the second half and reached the UL 25. Blaine Winston sacked Joel Blumenthal for a nine-yard loss that forced NSU into a fourth-and-long play, which led the Demons being stopped short of a first down on a pass to Ed Eagan.

Haack quickly put UL into Demons territory with a 48-yard completion to Scott at the NSU 30. Torrey Pierce and McGuire combined for six rushes that pushed the Cajuns over the goal line and stretched the lead to 34-10 with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter.

McGuire increased his career rushing total to 2,375 yards which moves him into sixth place on the Cajuns' career chart surpassing Kenyon Cotton (2,311 yards from 1993-96). He also moved past Cotton (25 TDs) into fourth place in career rushing touchdowns upping his total to 27.

The Ragin' Cajuns have an open date next week. The squad's next contest is set for 6 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 26 against Akron at Cajun Field.

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