LAKE CHARLES — Daniel Sams threw for 168 yards and one touchdown and ran for 164 yards and another score as McNeese State rallied past Sam Houston State 27-10 to claim the Southland Conference title on Saturday night.
The Bearkats (6-3, 5-2) who could have moved into a tie for the conference championship with a win, took an early 10-0 lead when Darion Flowers picked off a Sams’ pass and returned it 90 yards for a score and Tre Honshtein booted a 20-yard field goal.
McNeese State (9-0, 8-0) answered when Sams sprinted 64 yards for a score and tossed a 6-yard scoring pass to Kent Shelby in the final seconds of the first half for a 14-10 lead.
NICHOLLS STATE 30, LAMAR 28: In Beaumont, Texas, Francisco Condado kicked a 28-yard field goal with 2:46 to play to help Nicholls State slip past Lamar.
Lamar (4-5, 3-4 Southland Conference) didn’t trail until Condado’s kick, which was set up by Sean Eppinette’s fumble recovery at the Colonels’ 33 with 10:01 left.
Condado missed an extra point following a 5-yard touchdown run by Landry Klann with 5:08 remaining in the third, leaving Nicholls behind 28-27.
The Cardinals used a 13-play, 74-yard drive on their last possession to set up a short field attempt, which missed a 23-yarder as time expired.
Nicholls (2-7, 2-5), which came into the game averaging 162.2 yards rushing, finished with 415.
GRAMBLING 41, TEXAS SOUTHERN 15: In Shreveport, Johnathan Williams threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns to help lead Grambling to a 41-15 victory over Texas Southern.
Grambling (7-2, 7-0 SWAC) has won seven straight games after back-to-back losses to open the season and is in the driver’s seat in the SWAC Western division, a game ahead of Prairie View A&M.
Two of Williams’ TD passes went to Verlan Hunter, including a 51-yard strike in the second quarter. Hunter finished with 79 yards receiving.
TROY 51, LOUISIANA-MONROE 14: In Troy, Ala., Brandon Silvers threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns and Troy routed Louisiana-Monroe.
Silvers threw two touchdown passes in the first-quarter as Troy built a 27-14 lead.
Garrett Smith was 23 of 39 passing for 257 yards and two touchdowns for the Warhawks (1-8, 0-5 Sun Belt), but was intercepted twice. His first-quarter fumble was returned 27 yards for a touchdown, and LaMarcus Farmer picked off a Smith pass in the second quarter and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
LOUISIANA TECH 56, NORTH TEXAS 13: In Ruston, Kenneth Dixon ran for a career-best six touchdowns as Louisiana Tech routed North Texas.
Dixon rushed for 195 yards on 22 carries for the Bulldogs (7-3, 5-1 Conference USA). Jeff Driskel threw for 296 yards and was intercepted once.
DaMarcus Smith finished with 234 yards passing and two touchdowns for the Mean Green (1-8, 1-5).
NORTHWESTERN STATE 39, ABILENE CHRISTIAN 22: In Natchitoches, Stephen Rivers threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns as Northwestern State beat Abilene Christian.
Rivers was 21 for 28 with touchdown passes of 3 yards to Cody Jones, 2 yards to Shakeir Ryan and 65 yards to Ed Eagan. Eagan finished with 13 catches and 212 yards receiving, the second-highest single-game total in his career and fifth-highest in school history.
LOUISIANA COLLEGE 28, McMURRY 15: In Pineville, Louisiana ColAurren Cooksey and fBrett Sylve combined to rush for 275 yards and three touchdowns to lead Louisiana College over McMurry.