ACU stunned the crowd at Manning Field Saturday with a thrilling win over the No. 15 Nicholls Colonels (4-4, 3-2 Southland), 37-31, in overtime.
Sophomore quarterback Sema’J Davis led the way rushing for the Wildcats (5-4, 4-3 Southland). His 19 carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns helped propel the Wildcats to victory on the road.
Head Coach Adam Dorrel said that his performance was a big reason for their success in the win.
“I am just really proud of him and his unselfishness and his ability to continue to grow,” Dorrel said. “He literally lined up in four spots tonight and when you can do that as a player, that’s huge.”
Junior quarterback Luke Anthony finished the day 25-37 for 181 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Despite the picks, the Wildcats won the turnover margin.
Dorrel said that his team did a phenomenal job at finishing the game out for its second-consecutive overtime game.
“I am really proud of our team being resilient,” Dorrel said. “I told them after the game I was proud of them and loved them and I am going to figure out what is going on in these fourth quarters, man.”
In the past four weeks, ACU has been outscored 30-7 in the fourth quarter. The past two weeks, the Wildcats led entering the fourth quarter but were outscored, 10-0 in both matchups.
Earlier in the game, Nicholls’ sophomore running back Julien Gums scored the first two touchdowns of the game. It pushed the lead for the Colonels to 14-3, but the Wildcats would answer back before halftime.
ACU would score on its next two drives, including a one-yard run by senior running back Tracy James into the end-zone as time expired.
Dorrel said the way his team bounced back before half was because of a few key adjustments.
“They were doing some things that we were not anticipating,” Dorrel said. “We just came in and flipped some formations, and I think we just really got our ground game going.”
After stalling offensively in the fourth quarter, ACU and Nicholls were headed to overtime, tied 31-31. The Wildcats won the toss but deferred to receive the ball last.
On the second play of the drive for the Colonels, senior running back Kendall Bussey fumbled the ball and was recovered by ACU’s senior safety Brandon Richmond. It was Nicholls’ third fumble lost in the afternoon.
Richmond also finished the day with six solo tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.
On the following drive, it took the Wildcats five plays to capitalize off the turnover. James sealed the victory with a five-yard run up the middle for ACU’s first road win of the season.
With this win, the Wildcats’ FCS playoff hopes are still alive as they head into a bye week.
Meanwhile, the Colonels will be looking for answers after dropping its second-consecutive game in two weeks. They will head to San Antonio to face Incarnate Word Saturday at 4 p.m.