Sports Opinion: How NSU won its season set over HBU


Chris Reich

Senior wide receiver Gavin Landry found the endzone multiple times in the most unlikely ways.

The Northwestern State University of Louisiana Demon football team swept the season series against the Houston Baptist University Huskies with a 28-24 victory on Nov. 6. The Demons previously defeated the Huskies in a nail biter of a game in early Oct. with a final score of 21-17.

The Huskies came into the game with an 0-7 overall record and had the full intention of spoiling Demon Senior Night and leaving Harry Turpin Stadium with a mark in the win column. Though the Demons had already beaten this team, the Huskies were making their dreams a reality as they got off to a 17-0 start with about two minutes left in the 1st quarter.

The score remained locked at 17-0 until freshman quarterback Zach Clement connected on an 18-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jay Griffin IV for the first Demon touchdown of the night.

After a missed point-after attempt, the Demons went into the locker room with the score set at 17-6.

The offense could not be stopped in the second half as the Demons put up 21 unanswered points, and the defense had the HBU offense in shambles possession after possession.

The Purple Swarm, NSU’s defense, was particularly active in this game with junior standout Jomard Valsin racking up 11 total tackles (3.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and plenty of pressures. The Demons forced multiple turnovers and completely disrupted any plans that the Huskies had on offense.

Senior wide receiver Gavin Landry found the endzone multiple times in the most unlikely ways. Anyone watching the game would have called the attempt insanity as the 5’7 180lb walk-on ran directly into a brick wall of multiple 300lb defenders.

Despite all odds, Landry hit the hole twice for six, with the possibility of a third rushing touchdown if not for an unfortunate fumble recovered in the end zone by Javonis Isaac. Landry also had five receptions for 85 yards including a huge 52-yard catch to put the Demons in scoring range late in the 4th.

Even after all the late-game heroics from Landry and the relentless Purple Swarm, the Huskies still had a chance to march down the field and win the game. The Huskies spiked the ball after a 12-yard completion with 1 second to go. One play would decide the outcome of this 60 minute war.

As Huskies freshman quarterback Orion Olivas dropped back to go through his progressions, both edge defenders disengaged their blocks and created enough pressure to funnel the young signal-caller into the arms of defensive tackle Nate Nanai, allowing for speeding bullet Jared Pedraza to clean up the scraps as the Demons secured a hard-fought victory over the Huskies on a last-second sack.

The Demons prevailed, looking dominant in the second half after one of the roughest 1st quarters imaginable. A combination of career days from team leaders Landry and Valsin, halftime coaching adjustments, and some amazing team football helped lead the Demons to a 28-24 win in the final battle with HBU.