Nicholls falls behind early, unable to claw back in 42-16 defeat at SEMO

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Nicholls State University football team squared off against its first FCS opponent of the season Saturday afternoon in Houck Stadium but was unable to crack the win column as SEMO defeated the Colonels, 42-16.

Nicholls (0-3) fell behind two touchdowns early and had chances to mount a comeback; however, the Redhawks (2-1) countered with big plays and had help from some Colonel miscues to earn the noconference victory.

Kohen Granier led the Nicholls offense with 249 yards and two touchdowns while receiver Al’Dontre Davis finished with eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. With the Colonels trailing 14-0 before halftime, Granier found tight end Lee Negrotto on a fourth-down try for a 5-yard touchdown.

SEMO wasted no time in answering, scoring on a 4-play, 75-yard drive that lasted just 1:34. Nicholls had a chance to cut into the deficit right before the break but a 40-yard field goal by Gavin Lasseigne hit the upright to keep the score at 21-7.

In the third quarter, the Redhawks scored on Geno Hess’ second of three touchdowns to go up three scores. Nicholls answered with a 37-yarder by Lasseigne for a 28-10 deficit but a blocked punt canceled out any momentum for the Colonels. Kylan Dupre’s punt was swatted away and Garrett Todd scooped up the ball and ran 29 yards for a touchdown.

Before the fourth, Davis hauled in a 19-yard touchdown catch from Granier for the final Colonel points. Nicholls needed just four plays for the scoring drive, with Davis adding a 38-yard grab.

Hess added his last touchdown of the day to make the final, 42-16. He finished the game with 70 yards on 14 carries with one rushing score.

For the third consecutive outing, Nicholls struggled on the ground as they totaled 50 yards rushing. Julien Gums carried the ball 12 times for 33 yards while Collin Guggenheim had 20 yards on seven carries. After not allowing a sack in the first two contests, Granier was sacked four times by the Redhawk defense.

Paxton DeLaurent led SEMO with 309 yards and three TDs on 22 of 32 passing. He threw an interception on the second drive as Tyler Morton notched his first career pick.

For the Colonel defense, Chase Brown had a career-high 13 tackles while Kylin White added eight.

Nicholls will play its home opener this Saturday (Sept. 24), hosting Jacksonville State. Kickoff at John L. Guidry Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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