Jayhawks Edge La. Monroe, 21-19

KU's Rodney Allen (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The University of Kansas defeated Louisiana Monroe, 21-19, behind the efforts of senior running back Jon Cornish and freshman quarterback Kerry Meier. Cornish tallied 165 total yards, a new career-high, while Meier threw for two touchdowns and scored one on the ground.

Jon Cornish carried the ball a career-high 23 times for 103 yards. His consecutive 100-yard performances to open the season makes him the first Jayhawk to do so since June Henley in 1996.

Kerry Meier, making his second career start, was 16-for-27 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with sophomore Dexton Fields six times for 39 yards. Fields' six receptions - including an 11-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter - set a new career-high for the Dallas native.

The Jayhawks struck in the middle of the first quarter after orchestrating an 11-play drive, which was capped off by an 11-yard pass-and-catch from Meier to Fields. The drive spanned over five minutes and the Fields' touchdown was the second of his career.

With 2:02 left in the opening period, Louisiana Monroe evened the score at 7-7, after a 59-yard touchdown pass to Zeek Zacharie from quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster.

Kansas countered the Warhawks score with a four-yard touchdown pass from Meier to sophomore Marcus Henry putting the Jayhawks ahead, 14-7, at halftime. The touchdown marked Henry's second touchdown in the young season. The drive was ignited by Cornish's 46-yard reception, the longest of his Jayhawk career.

After forcing a Warhawks punt on their opening drive of the second half, the Jayhawks marched down the field and scored on a 10-yard touchdown scamper by Meier. The drive included several strong runs by Jon Cornish including a 22-yard jaunt.

The Warhawks were able to claw back into the game after Lancaster ran for a nine-yard touchdown, to make the score 21-13. However, the Warhawks missed the resulting extra-point.

ULM pulled within two points of the Jayhawks after another Lancaster-to-Zacharie touchdown connection for three yards with 3:31 remaining in the fourth quarter. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed after Lancaster's toss to Zacharie sailed out of the end zone.

Junior running back Brandon McAnderson retrieved ULM's on-side kick, allowing the Jayhawks to run out the clock and preserve the victory.

On defense, KU senior Paul Como registered a career-high eight tackles including three behind the line of scrimmage. Sophomore Mike Rivera also added seven tackles to give him 18 for the season.

The Jayhawks travel to Toledo, Ohio, to take on the Toledo Rockets at 7 p.m. The Friday night game with be televised on ESPN2. The Jayhawks return home on Sept. 23 to face South Florida.

Story courtesy: KUAC

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