Colonels fall in FCS 2nd round at EWU

first_imgCHENEY, Wash. – After a strong performance in the first half by the Nicholls State University football team, No. 3-seed Eastern Washington changed the momentum of the game with a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, and the Colonels went on to be defeated, 42-21, in the second round of the FCS playoffs Saturday evening at Roos Field.With the loss, Nicholls finished the year at 9-4, with the nine wins being the second-most in school history. Eastern Washington improved to 10-2 and will host next weekend’s quarterfinals game.The Colonels held a 14-3 lead after rushing touchdowns by Chase Fourcade and Dontrell Taylor through the first 17 minutes of the game. Nicholls was set up for a field goal right before the break, but the attempt was blocked by Dylan Bedletter, and Kedrick Johnson scooped it up for a 55-yard return for a touchdown. The score started 39 straight points for the Eagles before Fourcade rushed for a 34-yard touchdown to make the final.Nicholls looking good on the red turf!!The Colonels lead 14-3 in the 2nd after Taylor’s TD. #FCSPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/60CCcUEOKd— FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) December 1, 2018 Fourcade threw for 146 yards on 17 of 30 and matched his career high of 89 yards rushing. A 16-yard completion to Damion Jeanpiere, Jr. in the second quarter put Fourcade No. 1 on the Colonels’ all-time passing list, surpassing Doug Hudson’s mark of 7,670 yards set in 1986. Fourcade’s two rushing TDs gave him 13 for the season, tying Broderick Cole’s single-season record (2005).Nicholls churned out 235 yards rushing, led by Taylor’s fifth 100-yard game of the season as he totaled 112 on 20 carries. But Taylor had one of the Colonels’ two turnovers in the second half, along with a pick-six by Fourcade.Eastern Washington was fueled by Sam McPherson, who rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Most of the damage came in the second half, including a 34-yard touchdown run that gave EWU a 35-14 lead in the fourth quarter. He was only the second 100-yard rusher against the Colonels this season, leading to 237 yards rushing for the Eagles.Khristian Mims led the Colonel defense with a career-high 11 tackles and had an interception on the game’s opening drive. The turnover made way for a 1-yard sneak by Fourcade for the first touchdown of the day.The Eagles drove down inside the 5 on their next drive, but the Colonels stuffed a third-down rush and limited them to a field goal.Early in the second, Taylor went untouched from three yards out for a 14-3 advantage. The drive was kept alive on a 14-yard pass from Fourcade to Arron McKenney on third-and-10.Both teams had chances to score in the second, but Lorran Fonseca missed short on a 50-yard field goal for the Colonels. The Eagles had another successful drive deep into Nicholls territory before Hezekiah White forced a fumble on a Tamarick Pierce rush, and Corey Abraham came away with the ball at the 12-yard line.Nicholls marched down the field looking to go up 17-3 with the field goal attempt with seconds on the clock, but the block and return put the score at 14-10.In the third, Eric Barriere gave EWU its first lead of the night on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Boston. After the Colonels punted for the second-straight drive, the Eagles added a field goal for a 20-14 lead heading into the fourth.Nicholls had its first turnover of the night early in the final period as Taylor lost the ball at the Colonel 30 after hauling in a reception. EWU ran a half-back pass by McPherson for a big gain and he then ran in for a 4-yard touchdown, making the score 28-14 after a successful two-point try.The Colonels continued to struggle on offense with another 3-and-out, and McPherson scored again, this time from 34 yards out.  Fourcade then threw an interception in the red zone and it was returned 95 yards by Ketner Kupp for EWU’s final touchdown of the night.Despite the loss, the Colonels set several milestones this season. Nicholls won its second Southland Conference title and claimed its second playoff victory in team history. In addition to Fourcade’s records, Taylor, a junior, set a new program mark with his ninth career 100-yard game. Final. Colonels come up short at Eastern Washington. Thanks to our seniors for an amazing season. #GeauxColonels #oNeway pic.twitter.com/xmrZYU4vAZ— No. 13/14 Nicholls ?? (@Nicholls_FB) December 2, 2018 POSTGAME QUOTESHead Coach Tim Rebowe Opening Statement:”It’s a tough loss. I feel for those guys and the group of seniors that had a fantastic year. It didn’t end how we wanted it to end but I’m very proud of them and their effort.”On Blocked Field Goal: “It was big, it was a big momentum swing. If you don’t make the kick, it’s still 14-3 and you get the ball back to start the second half, but when it’s blocked and returned it’s 14-10 and we couldn’t get the momentum back to start the second half. They made a good play and it bounced the right way and it happens sometimes.”In the Second Half: “They got momentum in the second half, we couldn’t get any rhythm and we got into the fourth quarter and turned the ball over a few times which was uncharacteristic. I thought we played well in the first quarter and were playing fast and making plays, we just didn’t make enough plays the rest of the way.”On the Seniors: “I’m proud of all the seniors and where they came from and how many games they’ve won over the year. You always want to say as a player that you left this place better than you found it and those guys definitely did that. Those guys left it all on the field and with great leadership. We didn’t lose tonight, we just came up a little bit short. We have a special group, there was a bond in the locker room that they built. They came from nothing and taught each other how to win and how to build a program. I can’t say enough or thank them enough for what they did for Nicholls.”center_img Chase Fourcade:”We didn’t execute in the second half and we didn’t do what we were doing after a great first half. Our defense made some good plays and we got points off of turnovers, but we couldn’t find our rhythm in the second half. That was a great defense we faced and I thought we had times where we could’ve made better plays and we came up short.”Thoughts at Halftime: “At halftime, we were up 14-10 against the No. 3 team in the nation knowing we were getting the ball back and we were all into it and knew what was at stake with 30 minutes to play. I knew they’d come out ready to fight but we couldn’t find the rhythm after the first three and out. Hats off to them, it’s just tough right now.” Hezekiah White:On Transforming the Program: “It’s bittersweet, I wanted to win today. The whole senior class, coming from where we came from before Coach Rebowe, we’ve come a long way. Coach Rebowe used to tell us to buy in and I thought we transformed this whole program.”On His Career: “From where we came from, this is a blessing. We didn’t see light at the end of the tunnel back then and we didn’t know what was next for our program without a head coach. To see how far we’ve come, to the second round of the playoffs, it’s amazing.”In the Second Half: “It came down to execution, they had momentum, but there were a few times we could’ve got off the field on third down to stop it. They made plays, and that’s to be expected because they have a good football team.”last_img read more

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Many factors in OF talent of Matthews

first_imgTEMPE, Ariz. “The Catch” will no doubt follow Gary Matthews Jr. forever but what nobody saw was the preparation it took to create a mere 10 seconds of baseball immortality. Matthews said there was much more that went into his July 1 catch of a drive off the bat of the Houston Astros’ Mike Lamb than just a guy who got a good jump. “They’ve already acclimated themselves in some drills and what they’ve done with defensive work,” Scioscia said. “The amount of playing time they’ll get during the spring will be fine for understanding range and positioning. “Those guys will integrate pretty quickly.” Said Matthews: “Every spring training is big in order to get your timing down but there will be a little bit more to this spring and playing with Garret and Vlady. They have their own thing. I heard they don’t like to play a whole lot during spring training but we’ll go out and make plays. That’s what we do.” Matthews’ presence is expected to help the Angels cut down on the 23 outfield errors they made last season. “There were some breakdowns and part of it was getting an understanding of range in center with (Chone Figgins) really being inexperienced to Vlad’s knees starting to bother him a little bit toward the latter portion of the year, which affected his range,” Scioscia said. Rotation newsJohn Lackey and Kelvim Escobar each will pitch Tuesday when the Angels conduct an intrasquad game. Ervin Santana is in line to start the Cactus League opener Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. The schedule gives an inside peek at the regular-season rotation, something Scioscia has refused to disclose. If Lackey starts on Opening Day, as expected, it appears as if he will be followed by Escobar and then Santana. Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver would assume the final two spots of the rotation. With Weaver behind schedule because of biceps tendinitis, it is likely he would take the No. 5 spot in the rotation to give him more recovery time. Colon updateBartolo Colon’s progress on flat ground would put him on schedule for throwing at least live batting practice or pitching in a simulated game before spring training ends. His return, though, still would be sometime in May at the earliest and more likely June. “I think it’s unlikely that he pitches in a Cactus League game but it wouldn’t surprise me; there is a possibility,” Scioscia said. “He might be at the early end of his stepping up where he leaves the rehab scene and now he’s getting ready for the season.” Santana on sliderSantana said the addition of a dependable slider will help him get even better this season. Having two years of experience in the major leagues also will play a role. Santana had 12 victories in 2005 and 16 last season, while his ERA fell from 4.65 as a rookie to 4.28 a year ago. Santana, who turned just 24 in December, said he has set even loftier goals for this year but won’t discuss them publicly. Santana said he still has the same grip on his slider but he is working on finishing the pitch better than he did last season when it had a tendency to act like a hanging curveball. “It will help a lot because last year my slider was not that good and I think this year it will be a lot better,” Santana said. “I’ll have more experience and I know a little bit more about the hitters. I think my stuff gets better and better every year.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! To make such a play in an Angels uniform, Matthews isn’t worried so much about getting used to the dimensions of Angel Stadium. There are other more pressing concerns. “It’s important to know the places you play in but it’s probably more important to know your own pitching staff and to know your two corner outfielders,” Matthews said about being a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder. “We have scouting reports on all the hitters that come up but I have to have an idea of the velocity our pitcher has and the scouting report on a specific hitter. “The field comes into play but not as much as knowing your pitchers and the scouting reports of the different hitters and knowing your corner outfielders.” That would mean that playing with Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero this spring will be paramount, but manager Mike Scioscia isn’t going to overwork his veteran corner outfielders. center_img In his third year as an outfielder for the Texas Rangers it certainly helped Matthews that he knew his own ballpark well. Matthews raced back to the center field wall and leaped against the padding while putting his right hand on top of the wall for support. While propping his body well above the yellow stripe, Matthews made the catch with his back to home plate. He then spun around, landing on the warning track with the ball held aloft. last_img read more

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