Green Wave overcomes Ragin’ Cajuns in 4 OT battle

Tess Riley, Sports Editor

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The Green Wave overcame the Ragin’ Cajuns in a game that will be remembered as an instant classic.

Tulane (2-2, 0-1) beat UL Lafayette (2-2, 1-0) 41-39 at Yulman Stadium.  

While the Wave completed its first passing touchdown of the season during regulation play, the most notable aspect of the game was its sheer length.

The Wave and the Cajuns battled for a total of four overtime periods, the first time Tulane had ever seen a game of that kind in program history.

Another noteworthy aspect of the game was the performance and use of two quarterbacks, freshman Johnathan Brantley and redshirt sophomore Glen Cuiellette.  In the first half, Brantley doubled Cuiellette’s passing yards with 16 to his 8 and also had him beat in rushing yards, 16 to Cuiellette’s two.

However, while Brantley started both the game and the second half as quarterback, Cuiellette brought the Green Wave back to life and established a rhythm towards the end of the third quarter.

He made several consecutive complete passes after a long period of overthrows and fumbles by both teams. One of these passes by Cuiellette then resulted in a touchdown by Terren Encalade, the Wave’s first passing touchdown of the season and the first touchdown of the game by the Wave, as their previous points had all been field goals.

Cuiellette went on to throw three more touchdown passes during overtime play.  Cuiellette made the final pass to Encalade in the fourth overtime to win the game.

Andrew DiRocco hit a career breaking 48 yard field goal, hitting four field goals in total throughout the game.

The Wave’s defense secured the win by stopping the Ragin’ Cajuns two-point conversion attempt, preventing a fifth overtime, as senior nickelback Richard Allen tackled the Cajuns’ Al Riles at the 2-yard line.

Personal records were broken all around, both on offense and defense for the Wave.

Senior linebacker Nico Marley led the Wave with 11 tackles, tallying double digits in this category for the eighth time in his career.  Senior defensive tackle Tanzel Smart ended the game with a career high 10 tackles, his first time breaking double digits in tackles.

The Wave’s defense also contributed four sacks in the first half, by Marley, Smart, Quinlan Carroll and Peter Woullard, beating its own previous single-game season high of three.

“It feels great,” said head coach Willie Fritz. “I’m just really proud of our guys, we’ve been talking about how we need to win a game like this, where we fight through adversity. They came out with something totally different than what we had prepared for, and it took a while for us to figure it out offensively. Just a great win for our program.”

The official attendance of the game was 24,253 fans.  

The Wave will hit the road next week to take on UMass at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 in Amherst, Mass.