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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Colonels carrying momentum into bye week

Colonels carrying momentum into bye week

Nicholls State University is carrying momentum and several bumps and bruises into its off week after defeating Abilene Christian on Saturday.

Abilene Christian started fast scoring on the game’s opening drive, but the Colonels got a big play on special teams for their first score, then grabbed the lead and maintain it behind a record-setting performance from place-kicker Lorran Fonseca. Fonseca made five field goals to set a school record, and to help No. 23 Nicholls take a 29-20 Southland Conference win over Abilene Christian on Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium.

The win gives Nicholls its first three-game winning streak since the 2013 season as the Colonels improve to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Southland Conference.

The Wildcats came out ready to play with a 5-play 78-yard drive for a 7-0 lead with 13:30 left in the first quarter, but the defense adjusted to Abilene Christian’s screen game on the next series and forced a punt near the goal line.

Kevin Johnson blocked the punt and Adrian Richardson fell on it in the end zone tying the score and after Fonseca made a 27-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead with 12:49 in the second quarter, the Colonels never trailed again.

“I have to give credit to coach Brian Wallace and he had a great scheme. We pick our spots, and we are not a huge punt block team,” Nicholls coach Tim Rebowe said. “We wanted to come after it and put some pressure and force a bad kick. We got the block and we got the touchdown. (Special teams) had a big impact. We can look at the field goals obviously, but the kickoffs were in the end zone. The kickoff and punt coverage was good and we even had a big kickoff return. I thought we had some good field position and the special teams were solid.”

The field position helped Nicholls take a 20-10 lead at halftime as the Colonels got a 43-yard field goal from Fonseca and a 2-yard touchdown run from Dontrell Taylor (20 carries, 130 yards, 1 TD) with 26 seconds left in the second quarter.