Gums becomes school’s all-time leading rusher but Nicholls falls to Jacksonville State

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Julian Gums

THIBODAUX, La. – Nicholls State University running back Julien Gums rushed for a season-high 80 yards to become the program’s all-time leading rusher, but Jacksonville State spoiled the Colonels’ home debut.

Nicholls fell to the visiting Gamecocks, 52-21, Saturday afternoon on Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium.

Gums, a native of New Orleans and graduate of De La Salle, needed only two yards to break Josh Son’s mark of 2,658 yards which was set in 2003. Gums broke the record on his first carry en route to his first 20-carry game of the season.

Although Nicholls (0-4) racked up a season-high 418 yards, early turnovers and huge chucks of yards by Jacksonville State’s offense was too much to overcome. Nicholls tied the score at 7-7 and later trimmed the deficit in half at 28-14 thanks to a pair of Al’Dontre Davis touchdown catches, but the Gamecocks scored 24 straight points to put the game well out of reach. Collin Guggenheim punched in a fourth-quarter touchdown to make the final.

Jacksonville State quarterback Zion Webb accounted for four touchdowns, completing 9 of 11 passes for 252 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for a team-high 79 yards and found the end zone two more times. JSU piled up 547 yards of total offense and had three touchdown drives that totaled 226 yards on a combined six plays.

For the Colonels, Guggeheim notched his sixth career 100-yard game on the ground, totaling 119 yards on only 13 carries. Guggenheim broke free for a 47-yard rush late before scoring on a 1-yard TD scamper. Davis turned in his first multi-touchdown effort as a Colonel and hauled in team-high seven receptions for 80 yards.

It took JSU just two minutes to score their first touchdown following the first of two interceptions by quarterback Kohen Granier on the Colonels’ opening drive. But he answered immediately with a long 16-play scoring drive, capped on a 6-yard fade to Davis in the end zone.

The lead was short-lived as Matt LaRoche found a huge hole up the middle of the defense for a 46-yard JSU touchdown.

In the second, the Colonels moved into JSU territory before Granier was picked off again. On the first offensive play for the visitors, Webb connected with Sean Brown for a 76-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead. The Gamecocks followed with another touchdown, scoring on a rush by Anwar Lewis.

Davis highlighted the second touchdown drive for the Colonels, getting a large amount of real estate on a 35-yard catch. Then on 3rd-and-Goal from the 8, Granier zipped a ball on a slant to Davis for his second TD grab. Granier threw for 172 yards on 18 of 33.

Nicholls looked to have momentum heading into the break but Jacksonville State responded with a touchdown with only 1:19 remaining. The score started the stretch of 24 consecutive points that carried into the fourth quarter. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Colonels in their home opener.

While Gums set the rushing record early in the game, kicker Gavin Lasseigne also broke a program record with three made extra points. He needed only two to set a new mark, breaking Andrew Dolan’s 109 made for his career.

The Nicholls defense was led by Elijah Reames with eight tackles which included a half sack.

Nicholls opens Southland Conference play back on the road, heading to Natchitoches next Saturday for a rivalry game against Northwestern State. The Demons opened their league slate today with a win over Lamar. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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