Lions defeat McNeese at home 25-20


Dylan Meche/The Lion's Roar

Senior quarterback Cole Kelley threw for 301 total yards in Saturday’s 25-20 victory over McNeese State University. Kelley is a native of Lafayette and a transfer from the University of Arkansas. The Lions will face Northwestern State University at home on March 13 at 6 pm.

After over a year of absence from Strawberry Stadium, the Lions returned home to defeat the McNeese Cowboys 25-20.

The Lions’ conference rival maintained the pressure throughout the game, keeping the game tied for almost the entirety of the first half. A touchdown at the end of the second quarter propelled the Lions over the edge heading into the second half.

A fumble recovery at the end of the fourth quarter by sophomore defensive linebacker Herman Christophe secured the Lions’ lead over the Cowboys.

Head Coach Frank Scelfo was happy with the Lion’s victory.

“Good win for us, every win is good. I said when I got into this conference that they are hard to come by. You have to compete every week. Nobody gives you anything. You have to go compete, and I thought my guys did that tonight,” he said.

Scelfo noted the improvements to the defense compared to last week’s game against Sam Houston State.

“When you look at what we did last week defensively and what we did tonight, you see how hard our guys work. We reaped the benefits tonight with four turnovers. Our guys just never gave up. Give us an inch, and we will hold it,” Scelfo explained.

Offensively, Scelfo said he thinks the team had room for improvement.

“We were not sharp offensively, we didn’t do a good job in any phase of it. As far as running the ball, throwing and catching we just didn’t play well on offensive. We are better than what showed tonight,” he noted.

Despite all of the team’s mistakes during the game, Scelfo said he felt good that the team was able to pull out a win.

“We’ve got some stuff to correct, which is good. When you can do all of these things, make this many mistakes and still come out with a win in this conference, you feel good about your ball club, and you feel good about the guys that you’re playing with. I am really happy from that standpoint,” Scelfo said.

Donniel Ward-Magee, junior defensive back, was also happy with the team’s victory and noted how it felt to be back in Strawberry Stadium.

“Our fans, our family, our friends wanted us to come away with the dub of the 2021 home opener,” he said.

Cole Kelley, senior quarterback, also shared his reaction to the team’s performance.

“I’ve been on teams throughout my career where we would have lost that game tonight. Our defense played an absolutely hell of a game, but our whole team fought. We have some grown men in that locker room,and it is really special. Things weren’t going our way a lot, but nobody blinked. I love being over here,” Kelley said.

The Lions will return to Strawberry Stadium next Saturday on March 13 at 6 p.m. to face the Northwestern State Demons.