The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

Nicholls football reflects on winning its first Southland Conference championship since 2019

Photo by: Nicholls Athletics
Head Coach Tim Rebowe hoisting the Southland Conference football trophy

Sixth-year senior receiver David Robinson hoisted the Southland Conference Trophy and reminisced about the last time he held it.

After the feeling settled in his brain, he paused to reflect on what the trophy meant to him Sunday afternoon.

Robinson Jr. knows how it feels to be at the height and the bottom of the conference.

“With COVID and all of that happening, it feels good to get back to that winning culture,” Robinson Jr. said.

He added that this win is not just for him but for the younger players.

“I think the young guys are gonna know what it feels like to win, [the feeling] it’s contagious and you chase it and you want it every time,” Robinson Jr. said.

The Southland Conference Football Trophy returned to Thibodaux, La. after Nicholls State University defeated Lamar University 37-24 on Saturday.

Nicholls ended its four-year-long championship and playoff drought with the win.

“It’s not easy winning,” head coach Tim Rebowe said. “I’m proud of the effort and a lot of guys. The season didn’t start how we wanted but the goal was the same, we wanted to the conference championship, we wanted to go to the playoffs, and we accomplished that tonight.”

Rebowe said the team was anticipatory to start the week of practice going into the defacto conference championship but came back down to earth the rest of the week.

“We got back on the practice field on Monday, there was a bit of a psychic, they were antsy. Tuesday we got back to work and said we’ve got to focus on Lamar and let’s win the football game, so we did that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”

The rushing game was vital for Nicholls in the win, rushing for over 300 yards in the second straight game (346).

Runningbacks Jaylon Spears (177) and Collin Guggenheim (115) rushed for over 100 yards each.

“[Spears] can get after it and he makes my job a lot easier and I tell him sometimes, ‘give me some of your moves,’” Guggenheim said. “Having him in the backfield with me has been great this year and it’s a really good duo that we have created.” 

Lamar scored a touchdown on its first drive to take an early lead but Nicholls responded with a Spears touchdown to even the game up at 7-7.

Spears scored a 69-yard rushing touchdown just over nine minutes later to make the score 20-9 Nicholls.

Spears ended the game with three total touchdowns and 206 all-purpose yards. 

He thanked the offensive line for his big performance but added that it’s just him making plays and said “it’s just natural” for him to make those big plays.

Lamar did not lay down after falling behind by two scores but came back swinging. 

Defensive lineman Royce Maloles sacked quarterback Pat McQuaide in the endzone for a Lamar safety.

A Nicholls goal line stand with less than 10 seconds remaining in the half sent Lamar to the locker room with a nine-point deficit.

Lamar forced a McQuaide incompletion on Nicholls’ first drive of the second half, forcing a punt which led to a passing touchdown that cut the lead to two.

A 35-yard Spears rush and a Robinson Jr. Touchdown reception saw Nicholls regain the momentum.

“We’ve been in dog fights, we’ve gotten it handed to us a couple of times, and I think we’ve handed it two people a couple of times,” McQuaide said. “It’s a fight. That’s winning in college football, it’s not easy to do.”

He added that the coaches said, “It’s going to be a four-quarter fight and we’re going to.”

McQuaide had 106 passing yards in the game and threw three touchdowns, a season-high.

He pointed to the receivers as a big reason for his success in the game and over the season.

“They’ve been doing it all year, Robinson, Spears, Quincy. they’re not the only ones, but they’re the ones who got into the endzone,” McQuaide said. “The tight ends too, Lee [Negrotto] had a huge catch. We’re not surprised we do it in practice and we do it in the games, and tonight we put a lot of it together.”

A Tyler Morton interception on the next Lamar drive led to Spears’ third touchdown of the game which practically put the game out of reach for Lamar.

Lamar drove 90 yards for a touchdown on the next drive but failed a two-point conversion and kept the Nicholls lead at 10 points.

“[Lamar] had to go, they were down by 16 and we knew that when they scored. It was a big stop, I think Eli Ennis made a big play on the tight end throwback,” Rebowe said.

Kicker Gavin Lasseigne converted on a field midway through the fourth quarter to make it a 37-24 Nicholls lead.

Nicholls stopped Lamar on downs on its final two drives to end the game.

Nicholls won the conference and the playoff birth, but a common sentiment on the team is that it can’t lay down with one more regular season game to go that happens to be a rivalry.

“That’s a rivalry game, whole-heartedly,” Robinson Jr. said.

After losing the game last year, Robinson Jr. wants to take the Riverbell Trophy back from Southeastern Louisiana.

“I want to bring the trophy back to Thibodaux, I don’t like the way it feels when our trophy case looks a little less full,” Robinson Jr. said. “[The Riverbell Trophy is still in Hammond but the plan is that it’s coming back to Thibodaux this Thursday.”

Nicholls is back in action at Southeastern in Hammond, La on Thursday at 6 p.m.


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Brogan Burns
Brogan Burns, Sports Editor
I'm a Mass Communications major and a huge Saints fan. I’m from Chalmette, and I haven’t seen my dog in a month. Fun Fact: I’ve listened to the Sour album upwards of 50 times.

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