LAFAYETTE (Ragin' Cajuns Athletics) -- Placekicker Kenneth Almendares came up huge in the final seconds of Thursday night’s Vermilion & White Spring Game, nailing a 51-yard field goal as time expired to push the Vermilion team past the White team, 13-11.
Almendares’ clutch kick came 27 seconds after the White team scored a go-ahead touchdown and completed a two-point conversion. The White squad scored all of their points in the fourth quarter.
Levi Lewis led the way for the Vermilion side, finishing the night 15-for-26 for 167 yards and a touchdown. Chandler Fields led White by completing 12 of his 15 pass attempts for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Lewis’ score was hauled in by Neal Johnson, who led Vermilion with 32 yards on four catches, while Jacob Bernard led the way for White with four catches for 79 yards and his touchdown reception.
The two teams only combined for 157 yards on the ground, with Chris Smith carrying the ball 14 times for 61 yards for Vermilion and Emani Bailey pacing White with 46 yards on 13 carries.
Thursday’s contest was a defensive slugfest and featured six total sacks and an interception by linebacker Kris Moncrief, who also added four tackles and 2.0 tackles-for-loss. Blair Brooks notched 10 tackles and 1.0 tackle-for-loss for Vermilion, while Mekhi Garner led White with eight total tackles and a game-high four pass breakups.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Vermilion struck first when Lewis found Johnson, who went down and got his arms under the ball for a five-yard touchdown to put their team ahead, 7-0, with 3:48 to play in the second quarter.
Almendares extended Vermilion’s lead to 10-0 with six seconds remaining in the first half by drilling a 28-yard field goal. That field goal was later answered early in the final period when Nate Snyder scored the first points of the game for the White team by hitting a 30-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 10-3.
Needing a touchdown to tie things up late in the game, Fields found Bernard, who tip-toed 43 yards down the sideline and into the end zone to pull the White team within one point.
White decided to go for it all and attempt the two-point conversion, a decision that paid off when Fields found Pearse Migl, who caught three passes for 36 yards on the night, streaking across the field to put White ahead, 11-10, with 27 seconds to play.
Lewis and his squad responded quickly and used a big 18-yard reception by Smith to set up Almendares’ game-winning kick, which sailed through the uprights to allow Vermilion to edge out White, 13-11.
***Ragin' Cajuns Athletics