THIBODAUX — Chase Fourcade came off the bench to lead Nicholls State to a 14-10 win over Northwestern State on Saturday at John L. Guidry Stadium.
Fourcade, who is battling a shoulder injury, entered the game midway through the fourth quarter and led Nicholls (4-2, 3-1 Southland Conference) on a 60-yard, game-winning drive.
A key play came on a 31-yard Fourcade completion to Dai’Jean Dixon on a third-and-17 play to the Demons’ 16-yard line.
Five plays later, running back Dontrel Taylor’s 3-yard touchdown run with 3:54 remaining made the difference.
“We had the game plan — you know Chase didn’t practice all week — to go with Tuskani (Figaro),” Nicholls coach Tim Rebowe said. “He was doing a great job and then he got banged up a little bit so we were limited. So Chase coming in — the spark — field position helped us with that too."
Nicholls’ defense held firm, holding the Demons (1-4, 1-2) to 22 yards in the fourth quarter. The Demons were just 2-of-9 on third downs after halftime, missing on the last six.
“First of all, it was a great team win,” Rebowe said. “Our guys did a fantastic job. We knew how good Northwestern was and that they would be able to run the football. I was just proud of our guys. At halftime, we made a few adjustments. The defense’s back was against the wall a lot of times, but to hold those guys to 10 points with the field positioning, they did a great job.”
Northwestern had just 202 total yards, its lowest total in 37 conference games dating to late 2012.
“We had our chances but didn’t get it done,” Demons coach Jay Thomas said.
Sixth-year senior quarterback Tuskani Figaro started for the Colonels and directed a 90-yard touchdown drive on Nicholls’ first possesion. Kyran Irvin’s 3-yard run gave Nicholls a 7-0 lead at the 7:54 mark of the first quarter.
After that, the hosts didn’t get a first down until after Northwestern tied the game 10:08 before halftime.
The Demons answered on Stadford Anderson’s 4-yard run at the 10:08 mark of the second period.
Northwestern State took the lead on Eric Piccione’s 36-yard field goal with 9:57 showing in the third quarter.
The game lasted just two hours, 29 minutes because their were no media timeouts as officials tried to speed it up with the approach of Hurricane Nate.
Next up for Nicholls is Abeleine Christian at 3 p.m. Saturday in Thibodaux. Northwestern State will travel to Sam Houston at 3:45 p.m. next Saturday.