The Ragin’ Cajuns reached 10 wins for the first time in program history Saturday night with a win over the ULM Warhawks. The win was even more special for the guys who played their last game at Cajun Field.
Saturday’s game against in-state rival ULM was Senior Day. Before the thrilling win, 20 seniors were honored with their families on the field. It was a night the Cajuns won’t soon forget.
“You know I’m proud of this senior group,” head coach Billy Napier says. “Certainly a talented group, but more than that just a good group of men. They’re made of the right stuff, character, great leaders, great examples. They’ve been at the heart of what we’ve been able to do here in the second half of last year and certainly this year.”
“Regardless of if it was Senior Day, I told the guys don’t just do it for the seniors,” senior linebacker Jacques Boudreaux says. “Do it for everybody on the team. You guys deserve this. We work hard. Everybody on the team works hard. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this. I can’t thank Coach Napier enough for coming in and changing the culture here. I really mean it. All the coaches came in here and changed the culture. They changed the way we thought and allowed us to be better players. That’s what happened. They came in here and we became better players and got 10 wins. That’s something that’s historic for this program. I’m so happy to be a part of that. I’m lost for words to be honest with you.”
Boudreaux was a big part of that 10th win, leading the defense with 12 total tackles, half a sack, and one tackle for loss.
“I didn’t want to have my last moment on Cajun Field to be something that was going to reflect down on myself or down on the team. Those are my brothers. Those are my coaches. That’s an extension of my family. Whatever it is at the end of the day, I will do what I have to do to be successful, to put my team first. For my team to be successful, I’ll do whatever I have to do.”
Another senior that made the most of his finale at Cajun Field was Lafayette-native Stevie Artigue. The Cajuns placekicker nailed a 27-yard field goal to give UL the lead with just over a minute to go in the 4th quarter.
“That was so important, for the record, for the senior class,” Artigue says. “I remember coming in with this whole senior class and we knew we were going to be special when we were seniors. We are. It just feels amazing to do this for Lafayette, my hometown. It’s just awesome. For the last game at Cajun Field, it’s a good way to go out.”
The senior success was evident in the Cajuns run game too, as Breaux Bridge native Raymond Calais rushed for a team high 107 yards, including one 83-yard run to give the Cajuns the lead right before half.
“It meant the most to me, just to come in here as an 18-year-old, not knowing much about football. I learned each year, got better each year, getting bigger and stronger,” Calais says. “To come out and make history and get 10 wins on our home field against our rival ULM, that was huge. This is a special senior class.”
This senior class isn’t done yet. They travel to Boone, North Carolina next weekend to play Appalachian State, looking to bring a Sun Belt Championship back to Lafayette.