MONROE, La. – Centarius Donald powered in from the 1 with 9 seconds remaining to give Louisiana-Monroe a 38-31 Sun Belt Conference victory over Idaho on Saturday night.
ULM (2-0, 1-0) had the ball at its 27 with less than a minute remaining when Pete Thomas threw to Kenzee Jackson for 29 yards and then hit Tyler Cain for 36 yards to the Idaho 8.
Idaho (0-1, 0-1), which saw its season-opening game against Florida canceled last week, faced another delay in Louisiana – this one a two-hour weather delay.
The Vandals trailed 21-7 at the end of the first quarter but came back to tie at 21 in the second. The Warhawks, led by Thomas’ 384 passing yards, led 31-21 going into the fourth. Matt Linehan, who threw for 324 yards, brought the Vandals back to tie at 31 with 4:22 remaining.
In amassing 324 yards, Linehan – a redshirt freshman and the son of former Vandals quarterback Scott Linehan, a Dallas Cowboys assistant – connected on 26 of 47 passes. His favorite targets were senior Joshua McCain, the quarterback turned receiver, who had eight catches for 93 yards; Deon Watson (seven for 98); and Richard Montgomery (six for 73).
All-American punter out of Central Valley Austin Rehkow lived up to his reputation with an average of 48.3 yards on seven punts. He also kicked off, booted a 28-yard field goal and was good on all four extra points he attempted.
Idaho scored first but Louisiana-Monroe scored back-to-back to take a 14-7 lead before the game was halted because of lightning in the area.
Chris Edwards intercepted Thomas in the second quarter and returned it 42 yards to set up a 10-yard scoring pass from Linehan to McCain to knot the game at 21.
A Linehan interception early in the third quarter helped ULM balloon the lead to 31-21.
Idaho was able to tie the game at 31 with less then a minute left when Linehan hooked up with Watson for a 32-yard score.
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