December 12, 2017

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Defense shines as Colonels rally to defeat Demons, 14-10

THIBODAUX, La. – For the second consecutive week, the No. 25 Nicholls State University football team had an outstanding showing on defense, holding Northwestern State to 202 total yards, and quarterback Chase Fourcade subbed in to spark the offense for the game-winning touchdown as the Colonels defeated the Demons, 14-10, Saturday afternoon at Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium.

Fourcade had been limited in practice all week with an injury before making an appearance in the fourth quarter with the Colonels trailing, 10-7. Thanks to a punt by Tyler St. Germain that rolled inside the 1-yard line, Fourcade and the offense started at the Demon 40 following a punt and Dontrell Taylor scored on 3-yard touchdown to put Nicholls ahead with 3:45 remaining.

Northwestern State (1-4, 1-2 SLC) punted after a three-and-out but was able to get the ball back with 1:42 left on the clock. Facing a fourth-and-10 at midfield, J.D. Almond’s pass was picked off by Christian Boutte and the Colonels went on to run out the clock.

“First of all, it was a great team win,” head coach Tim Rebowe said. “Our guys did a fantastic job. We knew how good Northwestern was and that they would be able to run the football. I was just proud of our guys. At halftime, we made a few adjustments. The defense’s back was against the wall a lot of times, but to hold those guys to 10 points with the field positioning, they did a great job.”

The victory improved the Colonels’ record to 4-2 overall, 3-1 in the SLC and 3-0 at home. It was also the first time since 2009-10 that Nicholls has won back-to-back games against Northwestern State.

The Colonel defense was relentless all game, holding NSU to 3.0 yards per carry and just 87 yards passing on 10-of-28. The Demons converted 5-of-16 on third-down after Nicholls stuffed a handful of plays on third-and-short. Hezekiah White and Corey Abraham led the way with eight tackles each, and White added a sack. Along with his interception, Boutte logged a career-high four pass breakups.

Sixth-year senior Tuskani Figaro started at quarterback for the Colonels, finishing 7-of-19 for 85 yards. Although he struggled in the passing game, Figaro rushed for 58 yards on 12 carries to become just the seventh Colonel in program history to rush for 2,000 yards for their career.

“We had the game plan – you know Chase didn’t practice all week – to go with Tuskani,” Coach Rebowe said. “He was doing a great job and then he got banged up a little bit so we were limited. So Chase coming in – the spark – field position helped us with that too. Tyler punted one down and we got them backed up, got the ball in great field position and were able to punch it in.”

Taylor led the team with 71 yards on 17 carries and Kyran Irvin finished with 52 yards and a score on 10 attempts. Irvin got things started for the offense after scoring on a 3-yard rush in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. The touchdown was set up by a 19-yard run from Figaro.

The Demons sacked Figaro early in the second, leading to short field position after a 17-yard punt return by Hayden Bourgeios. Seven plays later, Stadford Anderson found the end zone on a 4-yard rush to even the score at 7-all.

Nicholls had a chance for points before the break, but Lorran Fonseca missed wide on a 52-yard field goal try.

In the third, Figaro was picked off by Isaac Warren, resulting in a 36-yard field goal by Eric Piccione for a 10-7 edge for the visitors.

Fourcade took over at quarterback with 11 minutes to go and the offense recorded two first downs, with the second coming on a 15-yard catch by Damion Jeanpiere Jr. The drive stalled at the 50, but St. Germain delivered the clutch punt, pinning the Demons inside the 1.

On the Colonels’ touchdown drive, Dai’Jean Dixon hauled in a 31-yard grab and the Demons had a costly penalty on a third-down stop that gave Nicholls a fresh set of downs from the 4. Two plays later, Taylor crossed the goal line for his first touchdown of the season.

Fourcade finished the game with 60 yards passing on 5-of-8 attempts. Dixon had 52 yards receiving on two receptions and Jeanpiere finished with 45 yards on four catches.

UP NEXT

Nicholls returns to the gridiron next weekend (Oct. 14) at home against Abilene Christian. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the game will air on Cox Sports TV. The game will be the annual Pink Game, as well as Hall of Fame and Homecoming. For tickets, please call 985-448-4790 or visit NichollsTickets.com.

About Andy Bryson 572 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach