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Nicholls football hosts Lamar tonight in conference battle

November 3, 2016

The Nicholls Football victory over rival Northwestern State University (NSU) carries them through this week as they prepare to compete with Lamar tonight.

Although scheduling a Thursday game gives the Colonels less time to recover from their previous game, the 31-14 win over NSU has kept their spirits and energy high.

“I like their positive attitudes and the way they have come out with a lot of energy at practice, but of course, winning helps them do that,” Head Coach Tim Rebowe said.

Senior wide receiver CJ Bates tied the program single-game record with three touchdown receptions and finished with 179 receiving yards against NSU. This week, he was named Southland Conference (SLC) Offensive Player of the Week. Besides seeing his own hard work pay off in game play, Bates relishes in the opportunity to see his teammates’ satisfaction as well.

“More than anything, it’s great for the guys that have been here through the hard times and know the hardships this team has faced,” Bates said. “It’s a chance to see the smiles on their faces and to know that we are competing to be at the top to hopefully get the playoff spot.”

The Colonels finished with 432 yards of offense against NSU, but Bates said they want to do even better when they face Lamar.

“As a team, we need a faster twitch to learn what they [Lamar] do, but we want to have an even better offensive game,” Bates said. “We just want to be able to run the ball and throw the ball in situations that we need to, in order to score as many points as we can.”

Coach Rebowe explained that once a few players start clicking, doors are opened for success all around the field.

“It was good to see that CJ and Chase Forcade were on the same page. When those guys work together after practice and do all the extra little things, then you see the fruits of their labor on game day,” Rebowe said. “When you have that going on, it opens the running game which then opened up some things on the edges for other guys as well.”

On the defensive side, the Colonels forced a shutout in the second half and allowed the Demons only 256 yards total. Hezekiah White, redshirt sophomore linebacker, recorded his first career interception and commends the efforts of the defense for helping him to shine.

“Words can’t explain getting my first ever pick in a game,” White said. “I owe that to my D line for putting on the pressure and letting me do my job; the ball just came my way.”

White was most impressed by the defensive effort to refocus and fix mistakes after being scored on early.

“Early in the game we gave up a touchdown but we knew we just had to regroup, get it corrected, and keep playing as a defense,” White said. “I was proud of how our defense responded. We were able to shut them out in the second half which is always good.”

For Rebowe, seeing White earn his first interception was the embodiment of one of his biggest words of advice to his players.

“We talk about it all the time, if you can do it at practice then you can do it in the game,” Rebowe said. “Hezekiah practices like that all the time so it was good to see him get his pic.”

Now the Colonels (4-2 SLC) must make the most of their time this week in preparation to host Lamar (3-3 SLC). For the players, this means a short week with less time for their bodies to physically recover and less time to study the opponent in the film room, but the tightened weekly schedule does not discourage them.

“We’re just taking it as another game to move forward to,” Bates said. “We’re not worried about their record or what they have done this year. We just know that there’s another team that we have to prepare for like any other team.”

With only three games remaining in the season, the Colonels sit third in the SLC tied with Southeastern Louisiana University. Although the team is being carried by momentum and has no time to slow down, Rebowe said they can’t get ahead of themselves and must only focus on the next game.

“I know it’s the oldest cliché in the book, but we have to play one game at a time. I always tell the guys that we can’t forget what got us to this point: being a great teammate, working together, having some fun, and leaving it all out there on the field,” Rebowe said. “If we continue to do that then we should have success.”

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