LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana scored 20 unanswered points in the first half to collect a 36-17 Sun Belt Conference football victory over visiting Georgia Southern Eagles on Thursday evening at Cajun Field in Lafayette.

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Eagles of the Game: 
Khaleb Hood recorded six receptions for 68 yards, including 34 yards after the catch. Derwin Burgess Jr. notched five catches for a team-high 75 yards and a score. Kyle Vantrease was 28-for-49 passing for 325 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Canteen notched eight tackles, including four solo, and recorded his first interception of the season. Justin Ellis recorded seven tackles, including a sack and two tackles for a loss.

Key Moments:
The Eagles (5-5) fell behind 7-0 on the Ragin’ Cajuns first drive, but used a trick play to draw even. Running back O.J. Arnold completed a halfback pass to Derwin Burgess Jr. for a 32-yard touchdown with 13:43 left in the second quarter to make the score 7-7.

Louisiana (5-5) would score the next 20 points to end the first half, getting a field goal as time expired to take a 27-7 lead into the break.

The Ragin’ Cajuns took the first possession of the second half down the field for another field goal to push the lead to 30-7, but the Eagles answered with a nine-play drive, going 68 yards and culminating with freshman Marcus Sanders Jr. recording his first collegiate touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Kyle Vantrease that made the score 30-14.

In the fourth quarter, Louisiana tacked on another field goal just 51 seconds into the period to extend the lead to 33-14. Georgia Southern’s Alex Raynor answered with a 39-yard field goal with exactly 12 minutes remaining in the fourth. The Ragin’ Cajuns extended the lead back to 36-17 with Kenneth Almendares’ fifth field goal of the game at the 10:13 mark of the fourth for the final points of the night.

Key Stats and Notes:
– Khaleb Hood finished the game with six receptions, breaking the single-season reception record at Georgia Southern.  Hood now has 66 receptions on the year, breaking the previous record of 64, set by Raja Andrews in 2008.
– Freshman Joshua Thompson recorded his first collegiate catch, a 50-yard reception from Vantrease in the fourth quarter.
– The Eagles went 0-for-8 on third downs until finally getting a conversion with 12:30 left in the fourth quarter on a completed pass to Marcus Sanders, Jr. Georgia Southern finished the night 2-for-14 on third down.
– Vantrease has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 10 games this season
– This was the sixth 300+ yard passing game for Vantrease. In all previous seasons, Georgia Southern QBs accounted for five 300+ yard passing games total.
– O.J. Arnold has thrown for, caught and rushed for a TD this season. He is the first Eagle to do so in a season since Jerick McKinnon in 2011.
– Louisiana improved to 5-1 all-time against the Eagles, with all meetings coming in Sun Belt play.

Next Up:
The Eagles return to Paulson Stadium for its final two games of the 2022 regular season. Georgia Southern hosts Marshall on Saturday, November 19, for a 6 PM kick on ESPN+. The game is also the annual Celebrate Agriculture Day at Paulson.