Running game powers Colonels past Lamar 41-14
The Nicholls State University football team received 100-yard rushing performances from sophomores Kyran Irvin and Jeremy Rounds and the defense shutdown Lamar as the Colonels claimed their first road win with a 41-14 victory Saturday night at Umphrey Stadium.
Both sophomores had career nights to fuel a season-high 354 yards on the ground. Irvin rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, while Rounds turned out 103 yards and a score on 16 totes. It marked the first game with two 100-yard rushers for the Colonels since their last trip to Lamar on Nov. 7, 2015. Tuskani Figaro added 67 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Nicholls’ defense allowed just one score, excluding a late one after a muffed punt return, and two interceptions led to a pair of touchdowns. Allen Pittman had a 54-yard return on a pick in the second quarter that gave Nicholls a 20-0 lead, and Darryl Adams intercepted a pass at midfield, returning it 52 yards to the 2 in the third quarter. Two plays later, Irvin scored for the final touchdown for the Red and Gray.
The Colonels (3-2 overall, 2-1 Southland Conference) outgained the Cardinals 506-237 in total offense, and the defense limited Lamar (1-4, 0-3) to 4 of 17 on third-down conversions. Chase Fourcade had an efficient night for the Colonels, completing 12 of 17 passes for 152 yards and a score.
Nicholls’ defense was led by Corey Abraham with nine tackles. As a team, the Colonels totaled eight tackles for loss, including a sack by Hezekiah White.
For the game, Nicholls used two big plays by Rounds to get the opening drive started. Rounds had a 13-yard rush and a 14-yard catch to move the ball across midfield.
Two plays later, Fourcade hit Christian Booker for a 28-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked for a 6-0 advantage.
Early in the second, Dai’Jean Dixon had a 43-yard grab down the sideline to place the ball at the 1. On the next play, Irvin found pay dirt for a 13-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Terrell Encalade pressured Lamar’s Darrel Colbert Jr. and forced an errant pass that was intercepted by Pittman at midfield. Pittman raced untouched for a touchdown, and Lorran Fonseca’s extra point made it 20-0.
Lamar cracked the scoring column on a 36-yard pass to Kirkland Banks, but Nicholls answered immediately with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Irvin rushed five times for 40 yards before Rounds bounced to the outside for a 16-yard touchdown.
In the third quarter, the defense continued to dominate by forcing two punts, and the Colonels extended the lead to 34-7 on a 10-yard touchdown run by Figaro.
On Lamar’s first pass of the next drive, Adams stepped in front of the intended receiver for a pick and was wrestled down before reaching the end zone. Irvin needed just two rushes for his second touchdown and a commanding 41-7 advantage.
Lamar’s final touchdown came in the fourth after a muffed punt return inside the 5. Andrew Allen scored on a 4-yard rush to make the final.
Central Catholic High alum Garret LeBlanc received playing time for the Colonels.
The Colonels return to John L. Guidry Stadium next weekend to host rival Northwestern State for Homecoming. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Cox Sports TV and broadcast on ESPN Radio New Orleans 100.3 FM.