THIBODAUX, La. – Ketrich Harmon carried 10 times for 182 yards, while Luke Halpin completed 13 of 22 passes for 175 yards, but the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (2-2) were unable to overcome a late deficit, dropping a tough 44-34 decision to the Nicholls Colonels (3-2) on Saturday evening at John L. Guidry Stadium.
Once again, Harmon did not lose a yard on the ground. The senior now has a streak of five games without being tackled for loss, dating back to last season’s game against East Central in Week 10.
Nicholls got on the board first, capping the game-opening drive with a 11-yard touchdown pass between Tuskani Figaro and Nick Scelfo. After an interception, Nicholls extended its lead to 14-0 after a five-play, 43-yard drive capped by an eight-yard Figaro run.
The Wonder Boys finally broke through on the opening drive of the second quarter, as Halpin connected with John Simpson on a four-yard touchdown pass that cut the deficit to 14-7.
The Colonels responded immediately, however, marching downfield 65 yards in six plays and 2:18, capped by a Figaro touchdown pass to Marcus Washington that extended the lead to 21-7.
Arkansas Tech would respond with an answer of its own, using an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by a Halpin touchdown pass to Jerry Anderson to pull to within 21-14.
After a Nicholls turnover on downs and a three-and-out for the Wonder Boys, Nicholls State’s Beaux Hebert ‘s first pass was intercepted by Darion Shine, who returned the pick 57 yards for the score, knotting the game at 21-21 with 1:28 to play in the first half.
Nicholls went into hurry-up mode on the ensuing drive, and Figaro found Carey Fortson in the end zone with seven seconds before half. The extra point attempt failed, and the Colonels carried a 27-21 lead into the break.
On the opening drive of the second half, Tech pushed the ball to the Nicholls 16, and Randy Velazquez hit a 33-yard field goal to pull Tech to within three (27-24).
After the defenses traded stops, the Colonels found the end zone again as Washington ran the ball in from the one, giving the Colonels a 34-24 lead with 1:17 to play in the quarter.
Tech chipped away at the lead, narrowing the deficit to 34-27 as Velazquez chipped home a 20-yard field goal on the opening drive of the fourth quarter. Nicholls answered with a 30-yard field goal of their own on the next drive to push the lead back to 10 (37-27) with 7:39 to play.
On the first play from scrimmage on the next drive, Harmon went 55 yards to put the Wonder Boys on the Nicholls five –yard line. Jonathan Keener took the direct snap and rushed it in to pull the Wonder Boys to within three (37-34) with 6:59 to play.
After the Wonder Boys forced a three-and-out on the next Colonels possession, the Wonder Boys charged downfield yet again. Harmon again picked up big yards, this time with a 60-yard run that gave the Wonder Boys the ball at the Nicholls six-yard line.
However, a pair of false start penalties pushed Tech back to the 16-yard line, and a bad snap on second down sent the ball all the way back to the Nicholls 22. After an incomplete pass on third down, Randy Velasquez’ 39 yard field goal attempt was blocked and recovered by Nicholls.
Nicholls sealed its win on the following drive, as Figaro took a quarterback keeper 88 yards for the score, giving Nicholls its final margin of victory (44-34).
Logan Genz led all players with 11 tackles (nine solo, two assisted), picking up 1.5 tackles for loss along the way. Demetris Ford had two tackles for loss, while Deandre’ Bonner had three pass breakups.
The Wonder Boys return to action on Oct. 5 facing the Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils. Kickoff from Convoy Leslie-Cotton Boll Stadium is set for 3 p.m.