Nicholls wins FCS playoff opener, 24-6, over North Dakota

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — Chase Fourcade accounted for two TDs, Julien Gums ran for 172 yards and Nicholls beat North Dakota 24-6 Saturday in a first-round FCS playoff game.

Gums, who went over 1,000 yards this season, led a rushing attack that gained 316. Dontrell Taylor added 95 yards rushing and a score. Dai’Jean Dixon had 122 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Nicholls (9-4), which tied for first with Central Arkansas in the Southland Conference, won its sixth straight game and will play at No. 1 seed and defending champion North Dakota State next Saturday.

Fourcade gave the Colonels a 10-0 lead late in the second quarter on 1-yard score, one play after Nate Ketteringham was strip-sacked by Sully Laich and Brandon Forntenot made the recovery.

A second field goal by Brady Leach closed the gap but Fourcade threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Dixon with 4:22 left in the third quarter and Taylor added a 2-yard TD late in the fourth.

Ketteringham threw for 269 yards with an interception with Travis Toivonen making 10 catches for 121 yards. The Fighting Hawks (7-5) rushed for just 44 yards.