Nicholls impresses in 41-20 win at HBU
HOUSTON – A dominating all-around performance by the Nicholls State University football team led to its second convincing win in a row as the Colonels defeated HBU, 41-20, Saturday afternoon in Husky Stadium.
Coming off a 27-point victory over UIW, Nicholls (6-3, 5-2 SLC) used another fast start to lead 27-0 at halftime and 41-7 in the third after Chase Fourcade’s touchdown pass to Dai’Jean Dixon. With the game in hand, HBU scored on a blocked punt and a rushing touchdown to make the final.
Nicholls finished with a season-high 616 yards of offense, with 313 rushing and 303 in the air. Fourcade was nearly flawless in his passing once again, completing 24 of 30 for 279 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores, with running back Kendall Bussey (64 yards) adding another.
Dontrell Taylor sparked the ground game with his second-straight 100-yard effort, going for 104 on nine carries. For the season, Taylor is averaging 8.3 yards per carry and leads the team with 582 yards. Freshman Julien Gums added 42 yards, and backup quarterback Charles Brooks rushed for 40.
The Colonel defense held HBU to 237 yards and minus 21 yards rushing. Nicholls had a season-high seven sacks, led by three from Sully Laiche and two by Patrick Riley. Khristian Mims paced the team with eight tackles, and Allen Pittman had six stops and a sack. The Huskies had just 13 first downs and were 5 of 15 on third.
In the first quarter, Nicholls started the game with a record-breaking field goal by Lorran Fonseca. After a penalty pushed his try back five yards, the senior etched his name in the record book with a 56-yarder for a 3-0 lead. The previous mark of 55 yards was set by Kyle Leisher at Tad Gormley Stadium in 1999. Bussey closed out the scoring in the period with a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Colonels then had a 66-yard scoring drive in the second, capped on a 13-yard catch and run by Taylor. Fonseca added a 35-yard field goal later in the quarter for a 20-0 lead.
HBU answered with its best drive in the first half, reaching the Colonel 30. But two penalties pushed the Huskies back and Nicholls ended the possession with sacks by Laiche and Riley. Nicholls got the ball back with 1:39 on the clock and flawlessly executed the two-minute drill, marching 78 yards on 10 plays to set up a jump ball in the corner of the end zone to Dixon (5 rec., 74 yards) for a 2-yard touchdown.
In the third, Gabe Fuselier started the drive with receptions of 14 and 15 yards, and Taylor rushed for 26 to put Nicholls inside the red zone. Four plays later, Fourcade scrambled and scored from 6 yards out for a 34-0 advantage.
HBU scored its first touchdown on a 67-yard catch by Terry Tillmon in the third. The Huskies forced and recovered a pair of fumbles in the third, including one to start their drive at the Colonel 27. But Nicholls had two more sacks to knock them out of field goal range.
Before the end of the third, the Red and Gray scored on a 90-yard drive with Fourcade sneaking in from a yard out. It was set up on a 20-yard catch to the 1 by Dixon, and a 37-yard pass earlier to Damion Jeanpiere, Jr. (7 rec., 96 yards). Jeanpiere surpassed the 2,000 receiving yards plateau for his career, becoming just the fourth Colonel to do so.
With the loss by McNeese, Nicholls moved into a three-win tie with the Cowboys and UIW. Central Arkansas also has two losses in league play and takes on Lamar tonight.
Nicholls returns home for its final two games of the regular season, starting Saturday, Nov. 10 against Stephen F. Austin. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. For tickets, call 985-448-4790 or visit NichollsTickets.com.
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