Louisiana Tech tops Southern Miss _lowres

Associated Press photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS -- Louisiana Tech quarterback Cody Sokol

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Kenneth Dixon caught a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third, all in the second half, as Louisiana Tech rallied past Southern Mississippi 31-20 on Saturday.

Dixon’s career-long 84-yard, catch-and-run on the second snap of the second half gave the Bulldogs (5-3, 4-0 Conference USA) their first lead. His 5-yard reception broke a 10-10 tie at the end of the third quarter. He had six catches for 124 yards.

Louisiana Tech’s Cody Sokol completed 27 of 46 passes for a career-high 423 yards and three touchdowns, including a 29-yarder to Carlos Henderson in the final period.

Dixon, who rushed for 41 yards on 19 carries, scored Louisiana Tech’s final points on a 1-yard run.

Southern Miss (3-5, 1-3) lost starting quarterback Nick Mullens on the game’s first series to a foot injury. Backup Cole Weeks completed 28 of 45 for 338 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

TEXAS STATE 22, LOUISIANA-MONROE 18:In Monroe, Tyler Jones threw for a touchdown and Robert Lowe ran for two more and Texas State used a second-half rally to beat Louisiana-Monroe.

Texas State was held to just 79 total yards in the first half and trailed 15-0 after a safety early in the third quarter. Then Lowe capped a 78-yard drive with a 15-yard run to spark the comeback.

The Bobcats (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) pulled within 18-14 after Jones hit Terrence Franks with a 40-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.

Texas State’s defense stiffened in the second half, forcing punts on three ULM drives, then Lowe scored the go-ahead TD on a 21-yard run with 3:29 to play.

The Warhawks (3-4, 2-2) had a chance late, but turned the ball over on downs.

Centarius Donald scored on a 6-yard run for ULM and Justin Manton kicked field goals of 51, 43 and 28 yards. Michael Johnson sacked Jones for the safety.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS 58, NORTHWESTERN ST. 35: In Conway, Ark., Willie Matthews ran for three touchdowns, including a 37-yarder straight through a pack of defenders, to help lead Central Arkansas over Northwestern State.

Central Arkansas (5-4, 4-1 Southland Conference) took control in the first quarter with an interception by Bobby Watkins that set up the go-ahead touchdown, punched in from the 4 by Dominique Thomas.

The Bears pushed their lead to 58-21 but Northwestern State (4-4, 2-2) scored two touchdowns in the closing minutes of the game.

Matthews finished with 114 yards on 22 carries for Central Arkansas, which won its 12th straight homecoming game. Thomas had 96 yards on 18 carries, including two touchdowns, and Blake Veasley ran in two touchdowns. Ryan Howard was 14 of 16 for 150 yards passing, including TD to Cody Dauksch from the 3.

Zach Adkins threw four touchdowns and ran in another for Northwestern State.

HOUSTON BAPTIST 31, NICHOLLS STATE 21: In Houston, Jonathan Fleming threw a pair to touchdown passes and B.J. Kelly ran for 153 yards and a touchdown as Houston Baptist rallied past winless Nicholls State.

Down by 10 points at intermission, Beaux Hebert threw a 60-yard touchdown to Demon Bolt and Michael Henry scored from 15-yards out to give Nicholls State (0-9, 0-5 Southland) the lead, 21-17.

Kelly got the Huskies (2-6, 1-4) back in front with a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter and Fleming fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Bibbins to put the game away.

Kelly led a Houston Baptist ground game that piled up 266 yards on 66 carries.

Henry finished with 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 20 carries to lead Nicholls State. Hebert was 17 of 28 for 187 yards and a touchdown.

McNEESE STATE 41, INCARNATE WORD 21: In San Antonio, Brent Spikes had three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and a stingy McNeese State defense sparked a win over Incarnate Word.

Spikes set a school and Southland Conference record with 148 return yards as he picked off a pass in the first, second and fourth quarters.

The defense allowed the Cardinals past midfield once in the first half and two more drives ended in first-half turnovers. Shea Nutt picked off a pass to stop Incarnate Word’s first drive and Wallace Scott forced a fumble, recovered by Cameron Smith, to thwart another.

The Cardinals scored twice in the third on a Jordan Scelfo 1-yard run and a Scelfo-to-Jordan Hicks 52-yard touchdown pass.

McNeese State (5-2, 3-1 Southland) led 28-0 at the break. Dylan Long led the Cowboy offense with three touchdowns in the first half.

Scelfo finished with 254 yards passing for IWU (1-7, 1-4).