SAN ANTONIO, TX – Nicholls State University sophomore Julien Gums rushed for a career-high 178 yards and his second touchdown put Nicholls ahead in the final minutes as the No. 24/25 Colonels hung on for a 27-23 victory over Incarnate Word on Saturday evening at Benson Stadium.
Gums was the workhorse for the Colonels on the game-winning drive, accounting for 68 of the 74 yards. His 1-yard touchdown run with 3:27 on the clock erased the UIW (5-4, 4-3 SLC) lead which it had just taken four minutes earlier.
On the final defensive stand, the Cardinals moved the ball all the way to the Colonel 26 with less than a minute to go before Sully Laiche recorded a sack to keep the clock running. UIW completed a pass inside the 20 on third-and-long, but the clock expired before they were able to get off another play.
The win improved the Colonels' record to 4-2 in the Southland, and 5-4 overall. The victory also gave the senior class a sweep of UIW, which is its third along with 4-0 records against Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State.
With the two senior running backs - Dontrell Taylor and Kendall Bussey - sidelined with injuries, Gums stepped up to carry the ball a career-high 23 times. His longest rushes of the evening came on the final drive when he started it off with 31- and 28-yarders.
Gums' other touchdown tied the game at 6-6 in the first quarter after the Colonel defense held UIW twice in the red zone to short field goals.
UIW's Jon Copeland threw for 381 yards on 55 passes and had a 1-yard touchdown to Ameer King for a 13-6 lead in the second quarter. But a minute later, K.J. Franklin was the recipient of a 32-yard touchdown pass which tied the game at 13-13. Franklin led Nicholls with 81 yards on three receptions, highlighted by his first career TD.
Chase Fourcade threw for 150 yards and a touchdown, but the play of his day was a career-long 64-yard touchdown before the break. On third-and-nine, Fourcade scrambled up the middle and outran the Cardinal defenders for a 20-16 advantage.
In the third quarter, the Nicholls defense stopped two fourth-down tries as neither team scored in the period. On a fourth-and-goal from the 1, Keyondrick Philo was stopped in his tracks up the middle by Laiche for a turnover-on-downs. For the next UIW possession, the Cardinals went for it again on a fourth-and-four from the Colonel 28, and Elijah Reames batted the pass down at the line of scrimmage.
Leading 20-16 still in the fourth, Nicholls put together a 9-play drive to reach inside the Cardinal 30, but Jeremy Roundscoughed up the ball for the Colonels' second lost fumble of the night. UIW answered with Kevin Brown's 1-yard TD rush with 7:49 remaining.
Along with Laiche, the defense was led by Khristian Mims with a career-high 13 tackles and Laryon James finished with 12. Laiche was one of three Colonels with a sack, joining Reames and Aquindas Steib.
Nicholls is back in Thibodaux for the next two weeks with its final home games of the regular season. The Colonels will host Houston Baptist at 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 for their Hall of Fame Game. The matchup will be broadcast on Cox Sports TV and ESPN+.
Tickets for Nicholls football are available by visiting geauxcolonels.com or calling the Nicholls Ticket Office at 985-448-4790.
Posted on Tue, November 5, 2019
by From Nicholls Sports Reports