Football focuses on offensive balance versus Lamar


Photo by: Photo By Nicholls Athletics

Nicholls quarterback Kalen Henderson drops back to pass during the Colonels game against Stephen F. Austin State University on Oct. 11.

The Nicholls State University Colonels continue to pursue their first win of the season, after falling to the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks 42-20 Saturday night.

With this loss, the team drops to 0-3 in Southland Conference play and 0-7 on the year, extending the squad’s losing streak to 13 consecutive losses.

The Colonels put up a season high of 381 total offensive yards. Senior quarterback Kalen Henderson finished with 123 passing yards and 18 rushing yards, completing 12 passes out of 28 passing attempts.

Junior running backs Michael Henry and Tobias Lofton combined to rushed for 258 yards, producing three touchdowns on the ground. Lofton carried the football six times, rushing for 106 yards, scoring a 66-yard touchdown in the third quarter that would be the team’s longest play this season. Henry racked up 136 yards on the ground against SFA in his second consecutive 100 yard rushing game.

Interim head coach Steve Axman is pleased with the running game, but wants to focus on balancing the offensive play calling and protecting the quarterback.

“One key is we have to protect the quarterback a lot better and give him more time to throw the ball,” Axman said. “We want to put him in a position to make a good throw. It’s hard to make good throws when you’re off balanced and your feet are not set because you’re dodging people.”

Senior linebacker and captain Davin Bovie led the Colonel defense that had a season high four tackles for a loss against SFA. Bovie led the team with 19 tackles, 17 solo. Sophomore B.T. Sanders tacked on 10 tackles while sophomore linebacker Ronnie Walker added seven more tackles, one of which was the Colonels first sack of the season that forced a turnover on downs.

Bovie was named Louisiana Sports Writers Association Defensive Player of the Week Monday morning, only four tackles shy of tying the Colonel football record for tackles in a single game.

“He’s really a special player and has a great sense of what’s going on in a game.” Axman said when asked about Bovie’s efforts in Saturday’s game. “He’s a tremendous hitter and has a great feel for the game. Sometimes it seems he reacts before anyone else even knows what’s going on.”

Nicholls will host the Lamar University Cardinals this Saturday for Family Day. The Cardinals are coming into this week’s game with an overall record of 4-3, 1-2 in conference play, after losing at home to ninth-ranked Southeastern Louisiana University Lions 61-34.

Going forward, the first win of the season remains the key goal in Saturday’s game against Lamar. The Colonels offense will continue to try to balance the play calling between running and passing the ball. Defense will remain true to its strategy, keying in on limiting the run game first.

“We definitely feel good about the game plan the coaches have provided for us.” Bovie said. “It’s on us now to execute that game plan, play well and get that first win”