NATCHITOCHES – The No. 12 Nicholls State University football team used a familiar formula -- running the ball and a stout performance by the defense -- to pick up a 28-10 victory over Northwestern State Saturday night at Turpin Stadium.

The win for the Colonels (4-2, 3-1 SLC) was the third straight on the year, and third consecutive over the rival Demons (2-3, 1-2 SLC). Nicholls had only one three-game winning streak in the series - which came in the team’s first three matchups from 1973-75.

Nicholls rushed for 299 yards with a healthy 5.4 yards per carry, and dipped below the 300-mark after kneeling for the victory. Dontrell Taylor recorded his fifth career 100-yard game and first of the season - rushing 11 times for 103 yards. Freshman Julien Gums had 66 yards and the game-clinching touchdown run late in the fourth, while Kendall Bussey added 53 yards and Kyran Irvin totaled 49. Quarterback Chase Fourcade tacked on 30 yards and a touchdown. All five ball carriers had either 10 or 11 carries.

Nursing a 14-10 lead at the break, the defense pitched a shutout in the final two quarters for the second time in three games. In last week’s win over Lamar, the Colonels allowed only a field goal in the second half before a turnover led to a short-field touchdown.

The Colonel defense, which headed into the game ranked fourth in the FCS with 20 sacks, had only one sack, but it was a crucial one. Nicholls led 21-10 for most of the second half after an early 1-yard Bussey touchdown run, but with the Demons driving into Colonel territory with four minutes to go, Sully Laiche sacked Shelton Eppler and forced a fumble, leading to a recovery by Ronald Ollie.

Nicholls then closed out the game with its freshman back. Fresh off a 152-yard debut last weekend, Gums broke away for a 43-yard run before scoring from 2 yards out via the wildcat formation. Lorran Fonseca’s extra point was good to make the final, 28-10.

The Demons accounted for just 62 yards on the ground, and Eppler tossed for 218 yards but had two interceptions. Northwestern State had chances early with three drives deep in Colonel territory but came away with only three points.

Northwestern State scored on a field goal to start the game but missed on a 40-yarder on the next possession. Despite a Winston Jones’ 71-yard punt that was downed at the 1 flipping the field for the Colonels, the NSU defense kept the pressure on with an interception by Hayden Bourgeois at midfield.

Northwestern State moved the ball to the Colonel 3 on the ensuing drive, but Austin Dickerson intercepted a pass in the corner of the end zone to keep the deficit at 3-0 before the end of the quarter.

Fourcade and Damion Jeanpiere, Jr. connected for a 50-yard reception, and Nicholls grabbed a 7-3 lead on a 5-yard touchdown catch by Dai’Jean Dixon. The teams traded touchdowns on the next two drives, with the home team taking a 10-7 lead on a 12-yard Stadford Anderson run. Nicholls answered with a 12-play, 87-yard scoring drive, capped on a 3-yard keeper by Fourcade for a 14-10 advantage.

Nicholls received to start the third and Joel Dullary set the tone with a 40-yard return. On the second play of the drive, Taylor reeled off a 36-yard rush and Bussey finished it off for a 21-10 lead.

For the rest of the third, neither team had much success on offense until a late drive by the Demons. But on 4th-and-6 from the Colonel 34, Khristian Mims recorded one of the Colonels’ seven pass breakups to end the scoring threat.

Nicholls had two opportunities to add to the lead in the fourth, but Fonseca was short on a 48-yard try and had another blocked.

Evan Veron had another stellar day for the defense. Although the junior did not record a sack, he racked up 3.5 tackles for loss. Laryon James led the team with seven tackles, and Ollie added 1.5 tackles for loss. Kevin Johnson had the second pick of the night for the Colonels late in the fourth.

Fourcade finished 8 of 17 passing for 118 yards and was sacked three times. Jeanpiere had 60 yards on two receptions, and Arron McKenney finished with 37 yards on a pair of catches.

Nicholls will make the trek to Abilene Christian on Oct. 13 for the Southland Conference Game of the Week, streamed on ESPN3. ACU nearly knocked off No. 9 McNeese Saturday, falling 24-21. Kickoff in Abilene is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.