South Alabama cruises in opener over Nicholls

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KJ Franklin

MOBILE, ALA. – The Nicholls State University football team was held to its fewest yards since 2015 as South Alabama rolled to a 48-7 victory Saturday evening in front of 15,101 fans in Hancock Whitney Stadium.

Trailing 41-0 early in the fourth, Nicholls (0-1) ended the shutout bid with a 10-yard touchdown run by Julien Gums. Gums, who missed the final seven games last season with an injury, inched closer to the program record of 35 rushing touchdowns with the 33rd of his career. But much like the rest of the Colonel offense, he was limited to 33 yards on nine carries.

The Colonels totaled 161 yards, marking the first time the offense was kept to less than 200 yards since head coach Tim Rebowe’s inaugural season. South Alabama (1-0) piled up 486 yards and had some help in the first half as Nicholls fumbled deep in their own territory twice, leading to 10 points for the Jaguars and a 27-0 halftime deficit.

South Alabama was paced by receiver Jalen Wayne and running back La’Damian Webb with two touchdowns each – both finishing with 98 yards. Wayne hauled in TD passes of 52 and 37 yards from Carter Bradley, who threw for 260 yards on 17 of 25.

Webb started the scoring with a rushing TD in the first, then Colonel quarterback Kohen Granier lost a snap that resulted in a short field goal. Following the first of Wayne’s TD, freshman Kylan Dupre was unable to handle a punt attempt and USA recovered at the 4, leading to a Bradley rushing TD.

Diego Guajardo followed with another field goal for the 27-0 halftime lead.

In the third, Bradley tossed a pair of touchdown passes for a commanding 41-0 advantage.

Nicholls was able to put together a 75-yard scoring drive, capped on Gums’ touchdown. Freshman Neno Lemay sparked the drive with a 27-yard catch and run while Al’Dontre Davis made a tough 3-yard reception for a first down at the 10. Gums then sliced through the middle of the Jaguar defense for the lone score of the day.

Granier finished the day 15 of 27 for 106 yards and one interception. Lemay had three receptions for 40 yards and K.J. Franklin added three for 14 yards.

On defense, Tyler Morton led the unit with seven tackles and one sack. Brandon Lairy and Hayden Shaheen each added six stops.

For the specialists, Dupre booted nine punts for a 46.0 yard average, highlighted by a 51- and 50-yarder.

UP NEXT
Nicholls will play its second straight program from the Sun Belt, heading north to face ULM. Kickoff in Monroe is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN3.

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