THIBODAUX — Stephen F. Austin racked up seven touchdowns passes and nearly 400 yards passing as the Lumberjacks handed the Colonels a 57-21 loss Saturday at John L. Guidry Stadium.
The highlight for the Colonels was a record-breaking performance from senior Chika Madu, who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
Madu, who needed only 22 kick return yards to pass Darryl Pounds’ mark of 1,555 to become Nicholls all-time leader going into the game, broke the record on his first attempt, a 91-yard return for a touchdown.
In the third quarter, Madu added a 94-yard score on his way to setting the Southland Conference and Nicholls record in kickoff return yards with 304 for the game. Madu’s two TDs were also single-game records for Nicholls and the SLC.
Madu’s first touchdown gave Nicholls (1-7, 0-4 SLC) an early 7-6 lead, but Stephen F. Austin (2-5, 1-2 SLC) reeled off the game’s next 45 points to take a commanding 51-7 lead in the third quarter, fueled by quarterback Brady Attaways’ seven TD passes.
Nicholls got on the board again after Madu’s second TD, and Marcus Washington added a late 2-yard touchdown reception from LaQuintin Caston. SFA tacked on a pair of field goals to make the final 57-21.
The Colonels were held to 168 yards, led by Caston’s 86 yards passing on 9-of-16. Caston also chipped in 30 yards on 18 carries. Freshman Demon Bolt added 26 yards receiving on three receptions.
The Lumberjacks compiled 480 yards, including 385 passing. Attaway threw for 364 yards on 30-of-49, passing for seven touchdowns. Cordell Roberson caught three scores, finishing with 115 yards on eight receptions.
SFA struck first on a 10-yard reception by Ryan Gambel, but Rashar Knight blocked the PAT.
On the ensuing kickoff, Madu raced 91 yards to give Nicholls a 7-6 lead with 2:36 remaining in the first.
The Lumberjacks quickly responded with a 46-yard strike to Roberson, and then outscored Nicholls 17-0 in the second quarter to go into halftime up 30-7.
The aerial assault continued in the third quarter as Attaway tossed three more touchdown passes before Madu’s second TD return made it 51-14. Nicholls added a late TD sandwiched between field goals by SFA’s Jordan Wiggs to make the final 57-21.
Linebacker Jordan Piper led the defense with nine tackles, while TJ Lumar and Jordan Hanberry added seven each. Bobby Felder and Kerry Guidry each had an interception.
Nicholls will have next weekend off and returns to action at McNeese State on Nov. 5. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.