By now, you’ve learned to exorcize your demons and have seen offensive fireworks on display from the Ragin’ Cajuns football team. Due to the statewide burn ban, those were the only fireworks allowed at Cajun Field that day. But it doesn’t matter. Our hometown boys are 1-0 and are looking ahead to next week’s game against the Old Dominion Monarchs.  So let’s recap how we got to this point.

At first it seemed that the Cajuns were going to dominate. Running back Dre’lyn Washington scored a touchdown on a 62-yard run that split the Demons’ defense in only 53 seconds. Not a bad way to start. 

It got a bit worse, as return man Jacob Bernard muffed a punt halfway through the first quarter, allowing the Demons to gain momentum on the Cajuns’ 14-yard line. But the defense held firm, giving up only a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3. A good return on the ensuing kickoff let the Cajuns get into the red zone. 

It somehow got even worse, as Zylan Perry fumbled the ball at the three-yard line and it was returned into the Cajuns’ red zone. However, two holding penalties cost the Demons and on third and 30, the Cajuns recovered a fumble of their own. At the end of the first quarter, the score remained 7-3. 

The second quarter remained a war of attrition until starting quarterback (yes, we have a starter) Ben Wooldridge ran a designed quarterback keeper into the endzone to increase the lead to 14-3. Wooldridge then threw a long touchdown pass to Robert Williams to add seven more to the scoreboard. 

It didn’t get worse, but Wooldridge did get hit on a pass a third of the way through the second quarter and was picked off as a result. The defense held the Demons again to a field goal, making the score 21-6 entering halftime. 

Three plays into the third quarter, Demons cornerback Perry Taylor was severely injured and had to be stretchered off the field. It rattled everyone in the stadium and on the field, and I hope that he recuperates and is not seriously and permanently injured. 

Wooldridge would unload a pass with 9:28 left in the quarter to wideout Peter LeBlanc for a 28-6 lead. Punt after punt would ensue until the third quarter ended with the same score. Kicker Kenneth Almendares opened the 4th quarter with a field goal to make it 31-6. 

Wooldridge would add insult to injury by adding another touchdown pass to wide receiver Tavion Smith. Demons quarterback Tyler Vander Waal would throw a garbage time touchdown as the Cajuns won 38-13 and started their season at 1-0.

Next week, in order to topple the Monarchs, the Cajuns need to work on their passing game. With easy drops and miscommunication abound, the Monarchs will eat Louisiana alive if they don’t fix it. The run game is great, and Louisiana’s defense can compete with the best in the Sun Belt. 

They’ll also need to shut down the Monarchs’ run game. Though they lost 36-17 to the Virginia Tech Hokies last week, they rushed for 201 yards on 43 carries. That’s going to kill the Cajuns slowly, grinding them until they can’t stop the ground attack. Expect the score to be in the Cajuns favor, roughly 28-14. 

Kickoff will be at 5:00 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on ESPN+ on September 9th. Make sure to tune in to support your one and only Ragin’ Cajuns.