BIG WIN – Henderson State Knocks Off Nicholls State


An outstanding performance by the defense and a strong ground game led No. 7 Henderson State to a 27-10 win over Division I FCS opponent Nicholls State, Saturday in Thibodaux, La.

The win is just the third victory over a Division I opponent in 21 tries, and the first road victory over a FCS team since the Reddies achieved NCAA Division II status in 1994.

“Anytime you travel eight hours and beat a Division 1 team, especially when they have 29 more scholarships, is a great accomplishment,” said Head Coach Scott Maxfield. “We came here to win and we did a great job. I am very proud of the way we played. Now we have to return home, get back to work tomorrow and prepare for Thursday.”

Henderson State, 2-0 on the season, totaled 381 yards of offense including 212 yards rushing. It was the first game since a 42-7 win over Ouachita Baptist on Nov. 12, 2012 that the Reddies rushed for yards than passing yards.

The Reddie defense was stellar in their performance, limiting the Colonels to 252 yards offensively while recording five quarterback sacks.

Henderson State took the opening possession down field and scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Rodgers to Mark Czaus with 11:32 left in the first quarter.

Joseph Snapp had a key 10-yard reception on the drive, while Darius Davis had an 11-yard catch. It was Davis’ only catch of the game as he left the game with an injury.

The Henderson ground game also played a big role in the drive as Jaquan Cole had a 13-yard run on a first-down play to take the ball down to the Colonel 21.

The Reddies caught the Colonels off guard on the point after as Czaus ran in for the 2-point conversion to put Henderson on top 8-0.

Henderson’s defense then held Nicholls to a three-and-out with Josh Davis having a big 8-yard sack on a 3rd-and-10 play to force a punt.

Henderson again moved deep into Colonel territory before the drive stalled on the 14-yard line. Houston Ray’s 31-yard field goal attempt was wide right, but the freshman kicker would later redeem himself later in the game.

After the Henderson defense forced another punt, the Reddies increased their lead to 15-0 on a Verrick Ponder 1-yard plunge.

The 14-play, 65-yard drive was set up by a 10-yard reception by Adrian Tucker on a 3rd-and-5 play, and a Cole 10-yard reception down to the Colonel 12.

The Reddies dominated the first-half as Henderson totaled 227 yards on 47 plays, while the Colonels managed just 82 yards on 28 plays. In fact, Nicholls’ furthest penetration in the first-half was the Reddie 44-yardline.

Henderson scored first to begin the second-half as Ray kicked a career-long 43-yard field goal to increase the Reddie lead to 18-0 with 10:31 left in the third quarter.

The Colonels finally got on the board on the following possession as they drove 76 yards on 11 plays with Tobias Lofton rushing in from 5-yards out with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

After a Rodgers interception on Henderson’s first play from scrimmage, Nicholls again moved the ball deep into Reddie territory before the defense forced Francis Condado to kick a 34-yard field goal to make the score 18-10 with 14:20 left to play.

The Colonels, 0-3 on the year, quickly got the ball back but Kale Henderson fumbled on the third play from scrimmage with Glennon Bobo recovering at midfield.

The big defensive play turned into a Reddie score as Henderson rushed the ball seven straight times with Cole scoring from the 2-yardline with 9:06 left, making the score 24-10.

The Henderson State defense again came up big on Nicholls’ next drive as Dijon Benton sacked Henderson forcing the NSU quarterback to fumble with Lawson Schulz recovering the loose ball at Nicholls 31 with 7:58 to play.

Seven plays later, Ray put the game out of reach with a 32-yard field goal with 4:54 remaining in the game.

Nicholls could not respond on its next drive and the Reddies got the ball back with 2:51 remaining and went on to run out the clock.

Cole end the game with 15 carries for 76 yards rushing, while Rodney Bryson had 8 attempts for 59 yards and Ryan McDonald 7 carries for 52 yards.

Rodgers ended the game completing 23 of 35 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown toss, with Czaus leading the Reddie receivers with seven catches for 49 yards.

Davis led the Reddie defense with nine tackles including two for lost yardage. Schulz, Wesley Brady and Christian Love all had seven tackles each.

Henderson State will play its home opener Thursday against Southeastern Oklahoma. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to

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