NACOGDOCHES, Texas (AP)Julien Gums rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns and Chase Fourcade threw a TD pass and ran for two scores as Nicholls cruised past Stephen F. Austin 48-30 in a Southland Conference opener on Saturday.
Stephen F. Austin took a 7-0 lead on Trae Self’s 21-yard run, but Gums answered with a 21-yard scoring run of his own to knot the score at 7 at the end of the first quarter.
Fourcade put the Colonels (2-1, 1-0) up 14-7 just 48 seconds into the second quarter on a 14-yard TD toss to Stefano Guarisco. The Lumberjacks (0-4, 0-1) pulled within a point on two Storm Ruiz field goals before Jeremy Rounds scored on a 4-yard run for a 21-13 Nicholls lead. Again Stephen F. Austin got within a point after Self connected with Xavier Gipson for a 47-yard scoring strike, but Gums answered again with a 9-yard TD run to extend the Colonels’ lead to 28-20. Ruiz’s third field goal got the Lumberjacks within 28-23 at halftime.
Fourcade’s 19-yard TD run was the only score in the third quarter and gave Nicholls a 35-23 advantage. Self found Allen Arclies III open for a 10-yard TD to cut the Lumberjacks’ deficit to five, but Fourcade and Gums had TD runs in the final 3:29 to put the game out of reach.
Fourcade completed 12 of 16 passes for 145 yards and he ran for 59 yards on 18 carries.
Self was 24-of-43 passing for 354 yards with two TDs and an interception. The Lumberjacks managed just 58 yards on the ground on 22 rushes.