JONESBORO, ARK. (AP) — Freshman Montrell Johnson took a handoff 99 yards for a school and Sun Belt Conference record-long touchdown, Chris Smith rushed for 238 yards and the game-winner and Louisiana-Lafayette battled past Arkansas State 28-27 on Thursday night.
Johnson and Smith scored all of the Ragin’ Cajuns points as Louisiana-Lafayette (6-1, 4-0 Sun Belt Conference) rolled for 424 rushing yards. Johnson, who gained 150 yards, had scoring runs of 99 and 3 yards. Smith scored from the 6 and and added a game-winning 74-yard touchdown run.
Louisiana-Lafayette pushed its win streak to six games, but didn’t escape without a fight as the teams exchanged a furious burst of points late in the first half, with a tie and four lead changes. Arkansas State (1-6, 0-3) built a 27-21 lead with a touchdown and a field goal off of two Louisiana turnovers.
Smith, whose fumble led to Arkansas State’s 24-21 lead, carried the Cajuns on his back late in the third quarter with runs of six and 74 yards to score the winning, come-from-behind touchdown.
Layne Hatcher completed 16 of 31 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns for the Red Wolves, answering Louisiana-Lafayette score for score through the middle quarters.
Taylon Doss made a career-high 11 tackles and EJ Alexander added 12 for Arkansas State.
Johnson’s 99-yard TD was the second in as many games given up by the Red Wolves, who had allowed a 99-yard pass play to then No. 15 Coastal Carolina Oct. 7.
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