Orgeron shines, defense dominates in 21-7 McNeese win over NSU

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NATCHITOCHES – McNeese quarterback Cody Orgeron and the Cowboy defense came up big in Saturday’s 21-7 win over Northwestern State in Southland Conference action.

Orgeron threw for 306 yards on 17 of 22 passing touchdown passes of 2 and 75 yards. It’s the third 300-yard passing game of his career.

Receiver Trevor Begue tied a career-high with eight catches for a career-best 165 yards while true freshman Josh Parker led an injury-hampered running game with 77 yards on 16 carries.

Defensively, defensive end Isaiah Chambers recorded three sacks, Darius Daniels with one while Andre Sam and Dorion Pollard each picked off a pass, the first for the Cowboys this season.

The Cowboy defense held the Demons to 361 total offensive yards with just 33 on the ground – a 1.2 yards per carry average. NSU managed just 99 second half yards until its final drive that pushed the total to 137 in the final two quarters.

NSU (0-3, 0-3) struck first when quarterback Kaleb Fletcher connected with Kendrick Price for a 13-yard score to put the Demons up 7-0- at the 4:42 mark of the first quarter.

McNeese tied it 7-7 after Orgeron found tight end Jamal Pettigrew from 2-yards out with 2:07 to play in the quarter. The score was helped set up by a 39-yard run by Carlos Williams, who came out of the game after that run and did not return.

That left the fifth-team running back in Parker whose 21 yard rushing on two plays to start the third quarter preceded a 75-yard touchdown strike by Orgeron to Begue to put McNeese up 14-7 with 13:45 to play in the quarter.

McNeese’s defense came up big on the next possession, holding the Demons on a fourth down attempt at the Cowboys’ 34. The Cowboys scored on the next possession on a 1-yard Walker Wood run that was set up by an athletic 33-yard catch by Josh Matthews and giving the Cowboys a 21-7 lead at the 7:45 mark.

NSU got a 58-yard kick off return to set the ball up at the McNeese 36, but Chambers recorded two of his three sacks in the series, backing the Demons up to their own 44 and forcing a punt.

The Demons threatened late in the third quarter with the ball on the McNeese 32, but a dropped pass by NSU’s Jacob Logan was picked off by Sam at the 5-yard line was returned to the 23 as time ran out in the quarter.

McNeese picked off its second pass of the game with 1:22 to play in the fourth when a Bryce Rivers pass was intercepted by Pollard at the Cowboy’s 16 and returned to the 35.

The Cowboys rolled up 416 offensive yards (306 passing and 110 rushing) while the Demons finished with 394 total yards (361 passing and 33 rushing).

The Cowboys will take next Saturday off before returning home on April 3 against Nicholls that will kick off at 1:30.

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