McNeese visits Nicholls with Southland title hopes still alive

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LAKE CHARLES – The wild and wacky Southland Conference football season got even crazier this past weekend while the McNeese Cowboys were sitting home with their open date.

To review, the Cowboys entered the idle week two games behind first place Central Arkansas and in a three-way tie for fifth place.

What happened over the weekend now has five teams in the running for at least a share of the league title with two games remaining, including the Cowboys.

Central Arkansas was dealt an unexpected 34-0 loss to Southeastern Louisiana on its home field. Sam Houston State and Nicholls both won while Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word, the two teams the Cowboys were tied with in the standings, each lost.

What we’re left with heading into week No. 11 of the season are four teams – SLU, UCA, Nicholls and Sam Houston State, all tied atop the standing with 5-2 league marks while the Cowboys are just a game behind at 4-3.

McNeese will visit Nicholls on Saturday at 3 in a game the Cowboys know they must win in order to have a chance at a playoff spot and now, a possible championship.

“We knew with four games to play what we needed to do,” said head coach Sterlin Gilbert who has his Cowboys playing their best of the season right now with three straight wins and four victories in the last five games. “We’re focused on doing what we need to do and take care of our business.”

McNeese’s 30-20 win over Northwestern State back on Nov. 2 guaranteed the Cowboys of at least a .500 season for the 15th straight season, ranking as the fourth-longest in the nation among active FCS teams.

Other games on Saturday will see SLU visit Abilene Christian, Sam Houston State host Northwestern State, Central Arkansas hosting Stephen F. Austin, and HBU hosting Lamar.

McNeese fans can purchase tickets to the Nicholls game at the McNeese ticket office through Friday.

Two games remain in the regular season. It looks like it’s going to go down to the wire for whoever comes out on top.

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