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Louisiana rages on UT-San Antonio for win in First Responder Bowl

The Cajuns win 10 games in back-to-back years, and will finish in the polls for the first time in school history.

Roadrunners quarterback Frank Harris runs the ball against Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns linebacker Kris Moncrief in the second quarter at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns completed the best season in team history with a 31-24 win over the UT-San Antonio Roadrunners in the First Responder Bowl on Saturday night in Dallas.

The Cajuns entered as 14-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, and held on for their 10th win of the 2020 season. Their only loss was to No. 9 Coastal Carolina during the regular season, and they were denied a chance to avenge that loss due to Covid-19 in the unplayed Sun Belt Championship Game.

ULL finished with 6.0 yards per play, including 5.8 yards per rush led by 19 carries for 127 yards by running back Elijah Mitchell. Quarterback Levi Lewis was 12-22 for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and added seven carries for 25 yards.

A very undermanned Roadrunners squad mounted a furious comeback, at one point down 24-7 but roaring to tie the game early in the fourth quarter. But they were unable to slow down more sustained drives from the Cajuns that were the difference. Dual threat quarterback Frank Harris was 13-21 for 208 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a game performance, but it wasn’t quite enough.

The ground based attack was led by running back Sincere McCormick with 23 carries for 117 yards, part of a team effort that averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 223 total yards.

The Cajuns will finish the 2020 season as a ranked team in the AP Poll for the first time, and head coach Billy Napier returns most of his players. The Sun Belt Conference in 2021 is going to play some outstanding football.