Sam Houston State routs Nicholls State 66-17
Playing as a ranked team for the first time in 10 years, the Nicholls State University football team struggled against top-5 Sam Houston State as the Colonels were defeated 66-17 Saturday night at Bowers Stadium.
Nicholls (2-2, 1-1) came into the matchup ranked No. 23 in the FCS Coaches Poll but was outmatched by the high-powered No. 3 Bearkats (3-0, 1-0). Sam Houston needed just 34 seconds to score, setting the tone for the rest of the night.
Down 21-0, Nicholls got on the board on a Lorran Fonseca field goal early in the second before the Bearkats answered with 38 straight points.
The Colonels were limited to 307 yards of offense and had a rough going on third down, converting 2-of-14.
Sam Houston totaled 619 yards with Jeremiah Briscoe leading the way with 305 yards passing and three touchdowns in three quarters.
Nicholls’ Chase Fourcade was 11-of-24 for 136 yards passing, had one interception and a late 57-yard touchdown pass to Damion Jeanpiere Jr. Jeanpiere, who entered the game leading the Football Championship Subdivision in receiving yards, had four grabs for 95 yards.
Sam Houston struck first with its own long bomb, scoring on a 56-yard touchdown catch by Nathan Stewart.
Back-to-back rushing touchdowns made it 21-0 before Nicholls cracked the scoring column with 10 minutes remaining in the half. Fonseca, who was just named Southland Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, kicked a 37-yarder for the Colonels’ only points in the first three quarters.
The Bearkats found the end zone two more times before the break and added a field goal for a commanding 38-3 advantage.
The second half was much of the same with the ‘Kats forcing three straight three-and-outs, and their offense continued to roll, extending their lead to 59-3 in the third.
The Colonels finally found the end zone on the deep ball to Jeanpiere with 13 minutes remaining in the game.
Sam Houston added its ninth touchdown before Donnell Adair scored on a 1-yard run for his first career touchdown for the final margin.
Tuskani Figaro led the Colonels with 63 yards rushing on seven carries — all in the fourth quarter. Stewart paced the ‘Kats with seven receptions for 147 yards and two scores.
Darryl Adams Jr. and Corey Abraham led the Colonel defense with eight tackles each, and Sully Laiche added a sack.
Locally, Central Catholic High alum Stefano Guarisco had five kickoff returns for 89 yards with a long of 25 yards. He also had one rushing attempt and one catch, each for 4 yards.
Fellow Central Catholic alum Garret LeBlanc also played in the game.
Nicholls will be on the road for the second straight week, taking on Lamar Saturday. Kickoff in Beaumont, Texas, is scheduled for 7 p.m.