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Rummel connection comes up big in Nicholls win over McNeese

  • Tags:
  • Alumni
  • Feature Story
  • By:
  • Eric Richey
  • Posted:
  • September 01, 2017 - 12:18pm

Damion Jeanpierre hauled in two long touchdown passes from former Rummel teammate Chase Fourcade in Nicholls' 37-35 Southland Conference win Thursday over McNeese.

THIBODAUX - Chase Fourcade and Damion Jeanpierre have quite a connection.

With the Nicholls offense sputtering in the season opener at home against McNeese State on Thursday night, the duo hooked up with two timely and long touchdowns passes to keep the Colonels in the game before NSU ultimately pulled out dramatic 37-35 victory.

After McNeese kicked a field goal on the opening possession to grab the early momentum, Fourcade and Jeanpierre hooked up on a 62-yard touchdown pass to lead 7-3.

One play after the Cowboys took a 22-14 lead, the duo connected once more, this time from 77 yards out as Nicholls inched to within 22-21 with 2:07 left in the third quarter.

Fourcade and Jeanpierre played a key role in the final drive of the game that set up a 32-yard Lorran Fonseca field goal on the final play of the contest to give the Colonels a two-point Southland Conference triumph.

The duo certainly left an impression on teammate Ahmani Martin, a starting defensive back.

“When you have guys like Chase Fourcade and No. 3 (Jeanpierre) on the other side, it was bound to happen. Chase Fourcade, gosh, he’s got heart out of this world, and the offense made it happen,” Martin said.

Of Fourcade’s 213 yards passing, 145 were hauled in by Jeanpierre. Pierre finished with three receptions and caught two of Fourcade’s three touchdown tosses. Fourcade also had a 19-yard touchdown run late in the game that gave Nicholls a temporary 34-29 lead.

The Fourcade-Jeanpierre connection should come as no surprise. The two have been hooking up ever since high school when they played for Rummel and competed in the Catholic League.

“We’ve been like that since I was a sophomore and he was a junior,” Fourcade said of their prep days. “It’s all about timing over here. I have trust in J.P. and all of my receivers and he did a great job and it’s a great team win. It was a pure team win. The defense held it down for us and we stayed on top and kept going.”

“We had it going on since my junior year in high school. It just got better and better every day and you can see on the field it will get better from here,” said Jeanpierre.

The second Fourcade-to-Jeanpierre touchdown toss was a big momentum booster for the team, according to the Colonels receiver.

“All it takes is one play to spark momentum and that’s what we focus on. We try not to get too down and when things weren’t going our way, I think we did a good job of that,” said Jeanpierre.

After hauling in Fourcade’s pass, Jeanpierre zigzagged his way past defenders on his way into the end zone.

“As a team, we hate to lose. I had it in my mind that I would do what we had to do so that we could get in the end zone every time I touched the ball. My teammates did a great job of blocking for me; my o-line. My quarterback did a great job of placing the ball and the receivers did a great job blocking for me, too,” Jeanpierre said.

Fourcade and Jeanpierre figured prominently in the Colonels’ winning drive.

Unable to effectively run the ball against McNeese’s stingy defense, the Colonels suddenly were able to move the ball on the ground, trailing by one point and with less than three minutes left in the game.

Fourcade handed the ball three straight times to running back Dontrell Taylor for a total of 11 yards. He sophomore quarterback had a 10-yard rush on second-and-9 early in the drive. He later ran for seven yards to pick up a first down at the McNeese 46.

The Nicholls quarterback targeted Jeanpierre twice in the final drive. The first toss was good for 8 yards and the second led to a defensive pass interference call that gave the Colonels the ball at the McNeese 21-yard line to eventually set up Fonseca’s game-winning kick.

“We were getting five yards a run and I think it was us balancing it out and getting them out the box and get those five yards and that opened up the quick passing game with J.P. and Book (Christian Booker) and shot out to the line,” Fourcade said of the game-winning drive.

It may only be one game deep into the season but the Colonels have a quick leg up on the rest of the Southland Conference with their win over McNeese.

“I’ve only been here for two years but we haven’t beaten McNeese, I think, eight times in a row. Last year, the teams we beat were below us (in the SLC standings) and of the top four, McNeese was one of them. I thought we really wanted this game. It’s a great conference win and 1-0 in the conference and 1-0 overall,” Fourcade said.

Eric Richey | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Eric Richey is an Emmy award-winning sports anchor/reporter who has been covering high school football for 25 years.