Backup kicker Kenny Almendares helps lift UL to win

Beyond The Jersey

Kenneth Almendares is in his third season with the Ragin’ Cajuns. During Saturday’s game, Almendares was called on after starter Nate Snyder missed a 30-yarder earlier in the game.

Almendares nailed a crucial 35-yard field to extend UL’s lead to 17-12 in the fourth quarter.

That field goal was his first make in his Cajuns career.

“My first thought was I prayed to God and said ‘hey hopefully I get a chance, if I don’t let me represent you,'” Almendares said. “Chance came and I took it. I felt confident because I’ve been working and I’ve been here for almost three years now. That’s all I do. I practice, practice, practice, and try to perfect what I do and do what I need to do for the team.”

“Well, what we’ve seen is Kenny has steadily improved,” head coach Billy Napier says. “Coach Discher has done a nice job with him. He’s always been a very talented guy. I think he’s developing as a more polished placekicker. He’s had a good couple of weeks in practice. We just go with what we see on the practice field. Kenny’s been very consistent and on-point. We made that move and Kenny came through for the team.”

On the next Cajuns drive after Almendares’ field goal, quarterback Levi Lewis was sacked for a loss of 11 yards, setting up a 43 yard field goal.

Almendares split the uprights again, making it a 20-12 UL game with just under four minutes left in the game.

Lewis immediately showed his appreciation for his kicker after extending the lead once again.

“Levi, I think that was really uncharacteristic of him,” Napier says. “He went over there and kissed Kenny Almendares on the cheek after he made that field goal.”

“Yeah he came and dapped me up,” Almendares says. “We have a little celebration that we have. To me it’s like a new beginning, it’s an opening. It’s a start for me. It opens a lot for me. It gives me that confidence that I’m still doing something, that what I’m doing is worth it ya know.”

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