Colonels cruise to 50-27 victory against Lamar
The Nicholls State University football team totaled 613 yards of offense and scored its most points in a conference game since 2007 as the Colonels stayed undefeated at home with a 50-27 victory against Lamar University Saturday evening at Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium.
“It’s good to get a win in this league because it’s tough every week,” Nicholls Head Coach Tim Rebowe said in a news release. “It’s good to get a win at home, but I thought we were a little sloppy in the first half – turning the ball over and we didn’t execute the way we wanted. But we talked about staying the course and knew it was going to be a four-quarter game.”
Junior quarterback Chase Fourcade accounted for five touchdowns – three passing and two rushing – and had 299 yards passing on just 12 completions. He also contributed 43 yards rushing, helping Nicholls (3-2, 2-1 SLC) to 314 for the game. It marked the third time in the last four meetings with the Cardinals (1-4, 0-3 SLC) that the Colonels rushed for more than 300 yards.
Nicholls’ rushing attack was led by true freshman Julien Gums, who shined in his Colonel debut with 152 yards on only 10 carries – highlighted by a 68-yard touchdown run.
“He runs hard, and he practices that way,” Rebowe said. “He has great vision, and the offensive line made room for him to run and (he) broke a long one.”
Kryan Irvin added 49 yards on seven carries and recorded a 36-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.
The Colonel defense, which entered the game ranked first in total defense, allowed 371 yards and held the league’s top-scoring offense to 12 points below its average before a late touchdown off a turnover.
Trailing 50-20, Lamar scored with two minutes remaining after a muffed punt deep in Colonel territory.
Early on, the defense got things started for the Red and Gray as Austin Dickerson took a tipped pass and returned it 26 yards for the game’s first touchdown after four minutes of play. It was the team’s third interception of the season following its two-pick outing last week, and it was Dickerson’s second pick-6.
Lamar countered with a field goal in the opening quarter and a 1-yard touchdown run by Darrel Colbert Jr., who threw for 159 yards and rushed for another 60 on 19 carries.
But before the end of the period, Fourcade found Stefano Guarisco open in the flat, and the junior ran 65 yards before being pushed out at the 4. Fourcade scored on the next play to put Nicholls back on top 13-10.
Guarisco, a Central Catholic alum, had a career day, finishing with 110 yards receiving on three receptions.
In the second, Nicholls had another scoring opportunity, but Davon Jernigan registered his second interception of the game, giving Lamar the ball at its 19. Colbert then evaded the pass rush and found Mason Sikes open for a 44-yard touchdown and a 17-13 lead.
Gums and Dai’Jean Dixon took over on the next drive, starting with a Dixon catch for 24 yards. Gums plowed through defenders on a 14-yard carry and then rushed for 26 to set up the offense at the 10. Fourcade went to Dixon on third down, and the sophomore outleaped the defense for a 10-yard touchdown catch.
Gums closed the scoring in the half with a touchdown run on which he made a few moves before running into a pile of Cardinals. However, he escaped the wreckage and sprinted down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown.
Lamar scored on a 48-yard field goal to start the third, but Nicholls answered with another touchdown.
Leading 27-20, Fourcade tossed a screen pass in the middle of the field to Irvin, who followed a blocker before bouncing to the outside and into the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown. The touchdown catch was the first of Irvin’s career.
At the tail end of the third, Fourcade and Dontaze Costly connected on a 41-yard strike for a 41-20 lead.
Nicholls then forced a three-and-out before Fourcade found the end zone early in the fourth on a 12-yard rush.
With the offensive starters out of the game, Fonseca added a 25-yard field goal to give Nicholls its most points under Rebowe.
The defense added three more sacks to bring its total to 20 this season. Evan Veron recorded his sixth, while Ronald Ollie and Hezekiah White had one each.
Darren tallied an interception for the second straight game, and Khristian Mims led the team with seven tackles.
Central Catholic alum Garret LeBlanc, a Nicholls redshirt junior, also received playing time.
The Colonels hit the road for their next two contests, starting Oct. 6, at Northwestern State. Kickoff against the Demons is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game will air on Cox Sports Television.