NATCHITOCHES - Northwestern State scored 17 points in the first 4:25 of the game and defeated Southeastern Louisiana 51-17 in a Southland Conference game Saturday night at Turpin Stadium.
Northwestern State (4-3, 3-1 SLC) scored on the game’s first play and Phillip Harvey opened the second half with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in defeating Southeastern (1-5, 0-3) for the second consecutive year.
Southeastern, which returns home to face Texas State in a nonconference game on Saturday, outgained Northwestern State 402-383, with Brian Young passing for a career-high 355 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“It started out bad and it stayed that way,” Southeastern coach Mike Lucas said. “I felt like we had a good week of practice and were prepared well. We fumbled the ball on the first drive and let it get away from us.”
Young set career-highs in completions (27) and attempts (47) with Brandon Collins catching five passes for 115 yards and a 57-yard TD reception. Simmie Yarborough caught eight passes for 68 yards, moving to within eight yards of Felton Huggins’ career record of 2,345 yards.
Northwestern State took a quick 7-0 lead 15 seconds into the game when Jamaal White forced a fumble on Southeastern’s first play from scrimmage and Lamont Simmons scooped it up and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.
The Demons went into their bag of tricks on the ensuing kickoff as John Shaughnessy’s onside kick was recovered at the Northwestern 49 before Shaughnessy booted a 44-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 13:05 left in the first quarter.
Northwestern State took a 17-0 lead as D.J. Palmer took a handoff, cut back against the Southeastern defense and scored on an 82-yard TD run with 10:35 remaining.
Brad Henderson tossed a 28-yard TD pass to Rumeall Morris with 4:07 left in the first quarter before Shaughnessy booted a 24-yard field goal for a 27-3 lead.
Henderson, who completed 12 of 23 passes for 149 yards, added a 37-yard touchdown pass to Justin Aldredge while Morris scored on an 11-yard TD that gave Northwestern State a 48-10 lead with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
Young hit Kory Theodore for a 6-yard TD pass to complete a 64-yard drive that cut the lead to 48-17 with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.