NE Louisiana 14, Nicholls St. 12
MONROE, La. (AP) _ Terrace Dunbar stopped a 2-point conversion attempt and forced a fumble in the final five minutes to preserve Northeast Louisiana’s 14-12 victory over Nicholls State in a season opener Thursday night.
It was the 14th straight loss for Nicholls, which went 0-11 under coach Darren Barbier last season after losing its last two games in 1994.
The Colonels lost all four of their fumbles and were penalized 10 times for 106 yards in losing their fifth straight game to Northeast.
Nicholls almost pulled an upset, driving from its 40 to Northeast’s 33 on its final possession. On first down, Nicholls quarterback Brad Zeller scrambled to the Northeast 12, but Dunbar’s hit forced a fumble. Travis Singleton recovered at the 8 with 55 seconds remaining and the Indians ran out the clock.
Zeller’s 1-yard touchdown run with 4:34 left cut the deficit to 14-12. On the conversion attempt, Frank Wilson took a swing pass from Zeller but was dropped by Dunbar seven yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Northeast’s Raymond Philyaw was 10-of-23 for 110 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Philyaw’s TDs covered 45 yards to Marty Booker in the first period and eight yards to Keith Gardner, giving Northeast a 14-3 lead at halftime.
Adam Diel got the Colonels within 14-6 with field goals of 38 yards in the second period and 25 yards early in the third period.
Junior Marquis Williams led Northeast with 72 yards on 15 carries. Booker had four receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown.