McNeese running game powers 32-17 win over Mississippi College

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese rushed for a season-high 350 yards behind the legs of D’Angelo Durham and Deonta McMahon as the Cowboys picked up a 32-17 win over Mississippi College and notching the first Division I win for head coach Gary Goff.

Durham rushed for a career-high 157 yards while averaging 11.2 yards per carry and McMahon rolled up 138 yards, also a career-high and 11.4 yards per carry.

Knox Kadum completed 10 of 16 for 51 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboy offense recorded 401 total yards.

Defensively, linebacker Kordell Williams finished with 12 tackles, his third straight double-digit tackle game. Micah Davey added eight stops with two tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles, one that was scooped up by Enos Lewis and returned 46 yards for a touchdown to give the Cowboys an 18-7 second quarter lead at the time.

McNeese (1-3) led 18-7 at the half after Durham opened the scoring on a 49-yard run and a 2-point conversion run by Walker Wood to make it an 8-0 lead in the first 2:31 of the game. After MC scored to cut the lead to 8-7, Cowboy kicker Garrison Smith nailed a 42-yard field goal and Lewis scooped up a fumble and returned it 46-yards for a touchdown.

The Choctaws took advantage of a Cowboy fumble early in the third quarter and scored a touchdown to cut the McNeese lead to 18-14. From that point, McNeese took over, scoring on a 21-yard pass from Kadum to Mason Pierce then a 24-yard run by McMahon to go up 32-14.

Next up, the Cowboys will visit Incarnate Word next Saturday at 6 to open up Southland Conference play.

Postgame Notes:
• The Cowboys’ first score of the second half was came on the longest scoring drive of the season when McNeese marched 92 yards on 13 plays while taking 7:20 off the clock.
• McNeese’s 350 yards rushing is the first time to rush for at least 350 in a game since running for 406 against Lamar in 2015.
• The Cowboys averaged 10.6 yards per carry for the game.
• Two players rushing for 100 yards in the same game (Durham 157, McMahon 138) is first time since 2017 at Stephen F. Austin (David Hamm 164, Justin Pratt 125).
• Lewis’ fumble scoop and score was the first defensive touchdown on the season for the Cowboys and second straight game for any score (McNeese recorded a safety on a Micah Davey sack last week vs. Alcorn State).
• MC’s 63 yards passing are the fewest allowed by the Cowboys since allowing just 65 against UIW in 2017.
• After converting just 4 of 31 on 3rd downs (13 percent) through the first three games, the Cowboys converted on 8 of 10 for 80 percent on Saturday night.
• WR Josh Matthews made 2 catches for 19 yards. That gives him 75 in his career and moving him into 19th on the school’s career receptions list.
• LB Kordell Williams recorded 12 tackles, his third straight double-digit tackle game, and moved into 18th all-time with 267 career tackles.
• PK Garrison Smith had his first kickoff of the season returned against him which went for only 13 yards. Through four games, out of 17 kickoffs, 16 have gone for touchbacks.
• Smith’s second quarter 42-yard field goal was the longest of his career. It also marked the first made field goal of 40 yards or more by the Cowboys since the 2021 spring season, a span of 15 games.

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