Things started off hot as the South Alabama Jaguars returned the opening kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown. However, Nicholls maintained their composure throughout the 1st quarter and did not let the lead get any larger. Both teams moved the chains effectively but failed to find the end zone again in the 1st quarter.
Things did not look too promising as the Jaguars scored another touchdown early in the 2nd quarter on a 3 yard scamper. The Colonels gave up a huge open field catch to set up the touchdown for Dami Ayoola. Shortly afterwards, the Colonels responded with a 77 yard kickoff return to put them deep into Jaguar territory. Just as things started to look up for the Colonels, Chase Fourcade got sacked and lost the ball on a key drive to put points on the board.
Dallas Davis returns the favor by throwing a pick-6 shortly afterwards to Chris Major with the conversion made by McKey. South Alabama started to look a little shaky when Jeff Hall blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt and was recovered by Christian Boutte for a touchdown bringing the score to 14-14.
Later on in the 2nd quarter, Nicholls’ own Ahmani Martin intercepted the ball to help set up a Colonel touchdown that was pounded in by #32 Mason Boudreaux to give the Colonels the lead even though the extra point conversion was no good.
David Mckey made up for the missed extra point attempt by kicking the ball dead in the center of the Jaguar pack allowing fellow Colonel teammates to swarm in and recover the ball. McKey then converted a 37-yard field goal attempt to give the Colonels a little breathing room.
The Jaguars responded with a solid drive down the field and capitalized on it with a 16-yard rushing touchdown and 2nd touchdown of the day for Xavier Johnson as he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown earlier in the 1st quarter.
What seemed to be a low scoring game in the 1st quarter actually took a turn as both teams started contributing on both sides of the ball. Nicholls looked to hold the lead going into halftime but a key fumble by C.J. Okpalobi put South Alabama deep into Colonel territory. The Jaguars drove down the field and converted a field goal to take a 24-23 lead into halftime.
Nicholls opened up the 2nd half with a solid drive down the field and convert a field goal attempt to take the lead 26-24. South Alabama quickly responded with a field goal of their own to reclaim the lead 27-24.
Both teams eased off the gas pedal a little until the middle off the 4th quarter when B.T. Sanders made a remarkable interception catch inbounds to help set up an effective drive in South Alabama’s half of the field. Effective running from the Colonels gave Fourcade an opportunity to throw a touchdown to Jeanpiere. Nicholls decided to go for a 2 point conversion and successfully got it thanks to the hands of C.J. Bates and accurate passing of Chase Fourcade. Nicholls would go up 34-27.
Another interception by Corey Abraham late in the 4th quarter gave Nicholls an opportunity to kill the clock and push the Jaguars deep into their own territory. Unfortunately, the Jaguars made a defensive stop and got the ball back to their offensive unit. Dallas Davis drove the Jaguar offense all the way down the field and threw a touchdown pass with 16 seconds left on the clock and brought the deficit back to a 34-34 before heading into overtime.
South Alabama won the toss and scored on their opening drive thanks to the power running of Xavier Johnson who got his 3rd touchdown of the day. The conversion was good and the Colonels needed to come up with a touchdown of their own as they did just that as Dontrell Taylor punched a 17 yard run through the line and into the end zone. Nicholls decided to go for another 2 point conversion to end the ball game but did not convert and felt short to the South Alabama Jaguars 41-40.
Up next, Nicholls heads to Lake Charles to take on Southland opponent McNeese State at 6 P.M. next Saturday.