PINEVILLE — The Louisiana Christian University Wildcats returned home Saturday after back-to-back road games to face the Arkansas Baptist College Buffaloes. The Wildcats led from whistle to whistle and defeated the Buffaloes 42-14.
The Wildcats’ first goal attempt came on a 39-yard field goal attempt by junior kicker Hunter Martensson with 6:22 left in the first quarter, but ABC Special Teams burst into the backfield and blocked the attempt. recover the ball at their own 32-yard line.
Two plays later, the LCU defense forced the first turnover of the night when junior defensive back Bennie Clark III picked up an ABC fumble on the Buffalo 25-yard line to give the Wildcat offense a boost. great position on the pitch to start his next offensive drive.
The Wildcats needed just three plays after the turnover to get into the end zone when sophomore running back Daylon Charles escaped eight yards to put LCU on the board first. Freshman kicker Levi Hilborn’s point-after-touchdown attempt was successful and LCU took a 7-0 lead, a lead they would hold for the remainder of the first quarter.
After making four outs following a sack by LCU second-year defensive end Logan Brimmer on third down, Arkansas Baptist fed the ball to the Wildcats.
ABC’s Fischer Ohrt punt would be missed by the Wildcats and Arkansas Baptist recovered on the Wildcat 31-yard line. The Buffaloes would not have the opportunity to capitalize on the excellent field position because on the second play of the drive, senior defensive end Micah Latin sacked ABC quarterback Marlon Patterson Jr. and the Wildcats recovered the fumble on their own 21-yard line. .
Unlike their opponents, the LCU took full advantage of the opportunity and after an eight-play drive, senior running back Devin Briscoe scored a one-yard touchdown. LCU took a 14-point lead after the Hilborn PAT.
After trading punts for a few shots each, the men in orange and blue recovered another fumble from Buffalo after another strip-sack from the Wildcat defense, this one being forced by senior defensive tackle DeMarco Collins and the recovery being performed by junior defensive end Detavius. Eldredge.
The Wildcats needed just one play to get back into the end zone after Buffalo’s fumble with Charles stepping into the open field and running away with a 48-yard touchdown run to extend the team’s lead. Wildcats at 21-0 at the end of the second quarter.
Down three touchdowns, the Buffaloes were down but not eliminated. Martensson’s kickoff after the Wildcat touchdown was returned 92 yards for a Buffalo touchdown by Atavian Ray to put ABC on the board for the first time. An assist on Chris Bradford’s two-point conversion cut the LCU lead to 21-8 with two minutes left before halftime.
During halftime, Louisiana Christian University honored the 2012 Wildcats football team on the tenth anniversary of their appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs. A number of former Wildcat football players from the 2012 team were in attendance along with former head coach Dennis Dunn.
Former Wildcats offensive tackle Jeremy Vujnovich was also honored. The Belle Chasse native was a member of the 2012 playoff squad and was an All-American tackle for the Wildcats before spending seven seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Cardinals. arizona. Vujnovich is the first LCU football player to make an active roster and start a game in the NFL.
The following drive for Louisiana Christian looked dead in the water when a Martensson field goal attempt from Buffalo’s 19-yard line missed wide left, but a brutal kicker penalty against Arkansas Baptist gave the ball back to the Wildcats with a first and ten from the Buffalo seven-yard line.
The next play saw Daylon Charles score his third touchdown of the first half on a seven-yard run. The Hilborn PAT gave LCU a 28-8 lead which they held going into halftime.
After a punt blocked by the Wildcats defense, LCU took control deep in Buffalo territory with eleven minutes left in the third quarter. The LCU offense drove to the Buffalo yard line and junior quarterback Sal Palermo III kept the ball on a stealthy QB to enter the end zone for a touchdown to give the LCU a 35-8 lead after the Hilborn PAT.
Arkansas Baptist was only able to run three plays on the next haul before a pass from Bradford was intercepted by sophomore defensive back Jahiem Mitchell on the fourth play to give LCU the ball at the 34-yard line of Buffalo.
Six plays later, Louisiana Christian scored what would be her last touchdown of the night on a 17-yard touchdown run by lead running back Rob McKnight to take a 42-8 lead late in the third quarter.
The Buffaloes scored one last time on a 33-yard touchdown by Atavian Ray with 13:24 left in the game, but the Wildcats held on until the final whistle for a 42-14 victory.
The Wildcat offense was prolific in the afternoon, totaling 413 yards on offense with six touchdowns scored. Quarterback Sal Palermo III was 6/14 passing for 70 yards, adding 8 carries for 28 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Daylon Charles led the Wildcat rushing game with 162 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries on the night with Palermo, Devin Briscoe and Rob McKnight all adding their own touchdowns.
Defensively, the Wildcats forced four turnovers and fired Buffalo quarterbacks three times. Sophomore defensive back Tyren Young led all LCU tacklers with eight total tackles for the day.
Next week, the Wildcats (2-4, 1-3 SAC) will return home to host the Pioneers of Wayland Baptist University (2-4, 2-3) for a Sooner Athletic Conference game.