Cowboys and Demons: a new and necessary rivalry


Gary Hardamon

Every time NSU versus McNeese is on the menu, the Cowboys and the Demons leave everything on the table each game, especially with the Fall 2021 season’s addition to playing SLC teams more than once.

The Demon Football team ended its season with 24-20 victory, beating McNeese State Nov. 20 on its home turf in Lake Charles and giving the Demons a new Southland Conference rival to replace the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks.
In past seasons, the Chief Caddo rivalry between the Demons and Lumberjacks had been one of the richest football rivalries in northern Louisiana and eastern Texas until the Lumberjacks left the Conference last spring.

Losing a long-time rival is like a breaking up with someone: all kind of sad until a new one comes along.
The McNeese State Cowboys were the Lumberjack’s perfect replacement because any time the Cowboys met the Demons both teams gave 100 percent, especially this season with SLC teams playing one another more than once.
For the Demons and the Cowboys, it has been 70 years-worth of interstate matchups and seven decades to let their rivalry simmer.

While this season’s final game proved victorious for the Demons over the Cowboys, the rivalry favored McNeese with the Cowboys beating the Demons in 2019 (30-20), spring 2021 (21-7), and 35-17 in their first matchup this season. The Demon fans would have to go back to 2018’s 37-34 victory when former Demon wide receiver Jazz Ferguson caught a pass in the corner of the end zone, making the winning touchdown.

Only time will tell if the Cowboys can replace the Lumberjacks as the Demons’ true rivals, but, if the past season is any indication, the signs point to continuing fierce on-the-field drama where both teams will have to show how much power one play can do for a game.

McNeese will stay in the Southland Conference for at least one more season, vexing Demons and their fans. The Demons plan to do likewise.