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Encalade’s Career Day Leads Tulane Football to Win Over Houston on Senior Night

NEW ORLEANS  Career days from redshirt junior wide receiver Terren Encalade and junior quarterback Jonathan Banks propelled the offense and the defense held Houston to just three points in the first half as Tulane football defeated Houston 20-17 in front of 19,026 fans at Yulman Stadium on Saturday evening.

Encalade had the biggest game of his career, scoring the game-winning touchdown on a 64-yard reception with six minutes remaining. He finished the game with 186 receiving yards – easily eclipsing his previous career high of 125 yards.

Banks threw for a career-high 251 yards in the win, completing 17 of his 25 pass attempts and throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Encalade.

Senior running back Dontrell Hilliard finished the game with 52 rushing yards, surpassing 1,000 for the season on his Senior Night and becoming the Green Wave’s first 1,000-yard rusher since André Anderson in 2009.

The Green Wave (5-6, 3-4 American Athletic Conference | West) found themselves ahead of Houston (6-4, 4-3 American Athletic Conference | West) by a 13-3 score at halftime, but Houston scored touchdowns on consecutive drives at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters to take a 17-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

That’s when Banks and Encalade hooked up for the game-winning score. Following an 11-yard reception by sophomore wide receiver Darnell Mooney that put the Green Wave at their own 36-yard line to start the drive, Banks found Encalade over the middle for a 64-yard strike to the end zone. Encalade caught the ball near midfield and motored past two Houston defenders on his way across the goal line.

Houston would get the ball back with 4:30 remaining and drive all the way to Tulane’s 32-yard line. On third-and-1, Cougars quarterback D’Eriq King rushed up the middle for no gain. On the decisive fourth-and-1, King’s pass was knocked down by redshirt senior defensive end Luke Jackson.

With possession and 2:41 left on the clock, Tulane ran two plays on the ground to force Houston to use its final two timeouts. On third-and-9, Encalade caught an 11-yard reception from Banks to seal the game. The Green Wave kneeled three times to complete their fifth victory of the season.

Redshirt senior nickelback Jarrod Franklin and senior linebacker Rae Juan Marbley co-led the team with eight tackles, while junior safety Roderic Teamer Jr. and freshman safety Chase Kuerschen had six apiece. Tulane converted 8 of 15 third downs in the game and had 23 first downs total.

With a 13-3 lead to open the second half, Tulane’s defense kept things that way as redshirt senior cornerback Parry Nickerson intercepted a King pass in the end zone to keep the Cougars off the board. That interception was his fifth of the season and moved him up to second all-time in school history with 15 career interceptions.

But two drives later, Houston finally got into the end zone. The Cougars got great field position thanks to an interception from Isaiah Johnson who brought it back 39 yards to the Green Wave 38. A 15-yard personal foul penalty after the play gave Houston the ball at the 23-yard line, and D’Eriq King went 33 yards untouched on the ground after a holding call on the Cougars’ first play moved them back 10 yards. That tightened Tulane’s lead to just 13-10 with one quarter to play.

Houston would take the lead for the first time on its next drive, moving the ball 91 yards in 12 plays after a six-play Tulane drive stalled. The Cougars picked up five first downs on the drive and had a crucial, diving third-down reception by Steven Dunbar that went for 23 yards to the Tulane 24-yard line and kept the drive alive. Three players later, King was in the end zone on a 16-yard rush that put the visitors ahead 17-13.

That set up Encalade’s dramatic receiving touchdown and Tulane’s comeback win.

Houston got on the board on its first drive, as Caden Novikoff kicked a 39-yard field goal. The drive was aided by a 46-yard run from King on the Cougars’ second play. Houston got a first-and-goal opportunity from the seven-yard line, but an offensive face mask penalty moved them back to the 22 and ended the drive’s momentum.

The Green Wave scored their first points thanks to capitalizing on a Houston turnover. After Teamer forced a fumble and Donnie Lewis Jr. recovered it on the Houston 42, Tulane moved the ball 35 yards to the 7-yard line before stalling. Sophomore placekicker Merek Glover knocked through a 24-yard field goal to knot the score at 3-3.

The Green Wave posted a huge goal-line stand to start the second quarter, stopping the Cougars on a fourth-and-1 from the 6-yard line. Jarrod Franklin and AdeAruna combined to tackle Houston running back Mulbah Car as he attempted to rush up the middle for the first down.

After that defensive stop, the offense took over for Tulane’s longest drive of the season. The Green Wave picked up six first downs as they moved the ball 94 yards down the field. Sherman Badie capped the journey down the field with a 16-yard run to the right side. Badie began the play intending to run up the middle, but with his path blocked he changed course, rushed around the pile of linemen and found the checkerboards. That gave Tulane a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

Following another defensive stop, Tulane added 3 more points before halftime as Glover knocked a 23-yarder through the uprights. Tulane drove 77 yards down to the Houston 6 before running out of time, with Glover’s field goal going through the uprights as the first half ended. That drive included a 45-yard reception fromEncalade, putting him over 100 receiving yards for the day.

The Green Wave head to Dallas next Saturday to take on SMU at Ford Stadium to close out the regular season. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT on CBS Sports Network.

Follow Tulane football on TwitterFacebook and @GreenWaveFB on Snapchat. Follow Tulane Athletics on TwitterFacebook­, Instagram and @TulaneAthletics onSnapchat.



Nov. 18, 2017



  • Game captains were senior running back Dontrell Hilliard and senior linebacker Rae Juan Marbley.
  • Houston won the toss and deferred. Tulane received and Houston chose to defend the South goal.
  • Attendance was 19,026.



  • Tulane wore green pants, green jerseys and green helmets.
  • Redshirt junior quarterback Glen Cuiellette carried the No. 18 flag, honoring former Tulane football student-athlete Devon Walker, who was injured and paralyzed during a game in 2012. Redshirt junior cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. carried the American Athletic Conference P6 (#AmericanPow6r) flag leading the Green Wave out of the tunnel.
  • Walker served as an honorary captain and participated in the coin toss for today’s game.
  • Tulane won its home finale for the first time in Yulman Stadium history and the first time since a 45-3 win over UTEP in the team’s last regular-season game played at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 23, 2013.
  • With a 4-2 record at home this season, the Green Wave posted their best home record in Yulman Stadium history and best home record since going 5-1 in 2013.
  • Tulane moved to 5-1 this season and 7-1 under Fritz when leading at halftime.
  • The Green Wave’s second-quarter touchdown drive was a season-long 94 yards. The Green Wave converted six first downs on the drive that went for 13 plays and was6:52 in length.
  • Tulane rushed for 200 or more yards for the seventh time this season. The previous six occurrences were 296 vs. Grambling, 237 at Oklahoma, 253 vs. Army West Point, 488 vs. Tulsa, 203 at FIU and 325 at ECU.
  • The Green Wave have rushed for 100 or more yards in 26 straight games, dating back to the final three games of the 2015 season.
  • Tulane passed for more than 100 yards for the eighth time this season. The other seven games were vs. Grambling State (185 yards), vs. Army West Point (103 yards), vs. Tulsa (165 yards), vs. USF (221 yards), at Memphis (203 yards), vs. Cincinnati (196 yards) and at ECU (121 yards).
  • Of the Green Wave’s 38 touchdowns scored so far this season, 19 have been with plays that went 20 yards or longer
  • In 23 games under Fritz, the Green Wave have recorded an interception in 17 games (eight last season and Grambling State, Navy, Army West Point, Tulsa, FIU, USF, Memphis, ECU and Houston this season), including in 13 of the team’s last 15 games and 16 of the team’s last 19 games.
  • Of Fritz’ 202 on-field victories, 65 have come on the NCAA Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision).



  • Redshirt senior cornerback Parry Nickerson made his 44th career start, redshirt senior Jarrod Franklin made his 35th consecutive start (37th start in his career), senior running back Dontrell Hilliard made his 24th straight start (32nd in his career) and redshirt junior offensive lineman John Leglue (24th in his career) and junior receiver Terren Encalade (30th in his career) made their 23rd consecutive starts.
  • Junior quarterback Jonathan Banks has thrown for more than 100 yards in five consecutive games – 221 vs. USF, 203 at Memphis, 196 vs. Cincinnati, 110 at ECU and 251 vs. Houston.
  • Junior quarterback Jonathan Banks threw for a career-high 251 passing yards, topping his previous high of 221 vs. USF on Oct. 21.
  • Banks threw his first touchdown pass in three games, the game-winning, 64-yard touchdown connection with redshirt junior wide receiver Terren Encalade at the6:13mark in the fourth quarter. He has 10 passing and seven rushing touchdowns this season.
  • Banks tied a single-game high with 17 completions. He also completed 17 passes vs. Cincinnati on Nov. 4.
  • With a three-yard carry on the first offensive play of the game, senior running back Dontrell Hilliard reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season for his first 1,000-yard season in his career. He becomes just the seventh running back in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season and the first Tulane player to do so since André Anderson in 2009.
  • Hilliard now sits at 2,906 career rushing yards, which ranks fifth in school history.
  • On the school’s single-season career lists, Hilliard ranks sixth in rushing yards (1,049), tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns (11) and ninth in carries (197).
  • Redshirt junior wide receiver Terren Encalade hauled in a career-high eight receptions and a career-high 186 receiving yards, marking the third 100-yard receiving performance of his career. His previous career highs were seven receptions vs. UL Lafayette on Sept. 24, 2016 and at Massachusetts on Oct. 1, 2016 and 125 receiving yards in that same game at Massachusetts.
  • Redshirt senior running back Sherman Badie’s 16-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his third rushing touchdown this season and ninth of his career.
  • With his interception at the11:38mark in the third quarter, redshirt senior cornerback Parry Nickerson now has five interceptions this season and 15 for his career. His 15 career interceptions are tied for second in school history with Lorenzo Doss (2012-14).
  • With one pass breakup, Nickerson sits third in school history with 30 career pass breakups.
  • Junior safety Roderic Teamer Jr. forced his first fumble this season and third of his career at the5:47mark in the first quarter. Redshirt junior cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. recovered that fumble for the first fumble recovery of his career.
  • Sophomore placekicker Merek Glover has hit his last three straight field goals, including two (23 and 24 yards) in today’s game. He is 7-of-8 on field goals this season.
About Andy Bryson 667 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach