Northwestern State erases 18-point deficit to beat Houston Baptist

Photo Source: Chris Reich (NSU)
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NATCHITOCHES , La. (KALB) - Sophomore quarterback Kaleb Fletcher won’t have a start in Saturday’s box score, but he’ll get credit for the finish.

Sears played the first two series before giving way to Fletcher, throwing for 66 yards on 4-of-5 passing and his first career touchdown.

“Kenny set the tone for us in that first series, and we talked to both of the quarterbacks about the number of series they’d get,” Laird said. “What nobody saw tonight was the way Sears stayed involved in the game from the sidelines. He helped us win tonight.”
The Huskies scored 28 of the next 31 points on the arm and legs of Zappe, who threw for three touchdowns and 251 yards while adding 132 rushing yards and another score.

NSU’s rushing game balanced its passing game as running backs Jared West (76 yards) and Stadford Anderson (46 yards).

The Demons sacked Zappe four times by four different rushers.

Freshman Jomard Valsin, Jr., accounted for one of those sacks as part of six tackles and one forced fumble.

“I’ve had to transition to the college game in which players are bigger and faster,” said the Port Arthur, Texas, native. “But thanks to God, the coaches and the players, I’ve been able to make that transition and make plays on defense and special teams.”

Senior offensive guard Chris Zirkle made his first start of the season after battling a shoulder injury suffered during this past season. The new redshirt rule allows players to compete in up to four games without losing a season of eligibility, so Zirkle will return for a fifth season in 2019.

Junior defensive lineman Christian Bluiett also saw his first action in a similar situation, although he didn’t record a tackle.

NSU heads to Abilene Christian for its final road game this coming Saturday.