It’s three weeks into the SFA football season, and the Jacks have a 0-3 overall record. The Lumberjacks begin their Southland Conference play at 6 p.m. on Saturday against Nicholls State University at Homer Bryce Stadium for Family Weekend.
Although the Jacks have yet find the win column, the coaching staff has not lost hope that this will be a great season for SFA football. Saturday’s game against Southern Utah University was another close game, which led to the Thunderbirds taking the win 45-38 in overtime.
“The preseason is over,” head coach Colby Carthel said. “The real season starts now. We are so close to being special. We’re going to continue to work, keep pushing. We have to find a way to finish. That’s what champions do. Champions fight back. When you believe, nobody can stop you.”
Against Southern Utah, sophomore quarterback Trae Self had 290 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Jacks where not able to score until the second quarter, tying the game by halftime. SFA led in the final three minutes of the game when junior running back Josh McGowen scored off a 75-yard drive.
SUU came back with 1:12 remaining with a touchdown from sophomore running back Thomas Duckett. Red-shirt junior running back James Felila scored the final touchdown for the Thunderbirds off a 25-yard drive to win the game in overtime.
NSU has a 1-1 overall record with a 49-14 loss against Kansas State University and a 42-35 win against Prairie View A&M University. In their last meet up, the Lumberjacks lost 47-14, making it their third straight loss against the Colonels. The Jacks have a 9-4 record against NSU.
Last season, the Colonels were SLC co-champions with a 9-4 overall record, a 7-2 conference record and a .692 winning percentage. They were able to make it to the second round of the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, winning 49-30 versus the University of San Diego in the first round and losing 42-21 to Eastern Washington University. The Colonels were ranked ninth in the FCS coaches’ poll, two spots higher than their previous rank.
“They’re plenty talented,” Carthel said, referring to NSU’s football program. “They were a preseason favorite conference champion last year and preseason favorite for a reason. They’ve got some tremendous players. The have some big boys that can run and hit. They’re mean, so we’re going to have to be on our A-game and be prepared.”
The Colonels have rushed a total of 416 yards and have allowed opponents to rush 539 yards. Senior quarterback Chase Fourcade has a total of 350 passing yards. He also contributed with two touchdowns against PVAMU where he was also able to complete 17 of 22 passes for 224 yards.
Junior wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon set a career-high 126 yards and score two touchdowns against PVAMU. Dixon ranks ninth on the Colonels’ top 10 receiving list with 1,242 yards and was named to the All-SLC second team in 2018. Last season, he had a total of 753 receiving yards with a high of 112 yards against Tulane.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and can also be heard or Q107.7. The football team will then head out to face Lamar University at 6 p.m. Sep. 28 at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont.