Cowboys have no trouble in dispatching Colonels

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

THIBODAUX — If this is the way McNeese State plays during the day, maybe it’s time to tear down the lights at Cowboy Stadium.

Just kidding.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, were

not joking around Saturday afternoon, playing lights-out in all phases

for a dominating

42-10 win over Nicholls State. McNeese (6-3, 3-3 Southland) rolled

up 550 yards of offense and picked off four Nicholls (1-7,

0-5) passes.

“We finally dominated like we’re capable of,” said Cowboys senior defensive tackle Pat Williams.

It took McNeese all of one play to get things rolling, as a 50-yard Cody Stroud pass to Darius Carey quickly set the tone.

“That’s exciting, any time you bust a

big play. But especially the first play of the game, that just gets the

fire lit underneath,”

said right tackle Alec Savoie. “It’s definitely different playing

at daytime. Playing at home at night it’s usually an electric

atmosphere, and coming out here during the day it’s a little dead.

So we kind of had to get ourselves excited and feed off

each other.”

The Cowboys finished that drive off with a 24-yard strike to Wes Briscoe, the first of three Stroud touchdown passes.

Stroud was 17 of 28 for 274 yards and an interception and was sacked only once.

“It was very key. I only got touched two or three times,” Stroud said. “That’s a pretty good day for the guys up front and

the backs and tight ends. Any time you can do that, it’s good for the offense.”

McNeese committed to the pass early in the game as Nicholls had some success against the running game.

“Nicholls does a nice job on defense,” said McNeese coach Matt Viator. “They did a great job slowing down our zone-running

game. They stunted and twisted and did a bunch of things that gave us fits.”

Though the scoreboard indicated total dominance, it took some big plays to stem any potential game-changing moments for the

Colonels.

The Cowboys stuffed Nicholls on a fourth-and-1 run in the second quarter, then finished the ensuing drive with a 1-yard Marcus

Wiltz run off-tackle on fourth-and-goal to take a 14-0 lead.

Stroud’s interception came on a deflection in the third quarter that was returned into McNeese territory by Byron Cobb. The

Colonels got an extra 15 yards tacked on when Stroud was flagged for a late hit.

The Nicholls threat was short-lived, though, as it tried to cut into a 21-3 deficit.

A Landry Klann pass was tipped by a McNeese lineman and ended up in the hands of safety Ryan Bronson, turning the tide back

to the Cowboys.

“It didn’t matter if it was a defensive lineman, the linebackers or the corners, somebody stepped up big on each play,” Williams

said. “And that’s what it came down to, someone making a big play.”

McNeese broke the game open on the ensuing drive when Stroud connected with Carey again, this time on a 32-yard pass to the

back of the end zone.

Nicholls did not score until the backups were on the field for both teams. Dalton Hilliard, Jr. scored on a 10-yard run to

cut the lead to 35-10 with 2:53 remaining.

Two plays later, McNeese freshman Kelvin Bennett burst through a gaping hole for a 76-yard touchdown run to provide the final

margin.