NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP)Josh McGowen ran 158 yards and a score on 22 carries, Xavier Gipson had seven receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown, and Stephen F. Austin beat Northwestern State 32-20 in the season finale for both teams on Thursday night.
Thomas Hutchings added 75 yards rushing, including a 7-yard TD, for Stephen F. Austin.
Storm Ruiz made a career-long 54-yard field goal midway through the first quarter and three plays later Gary Sampson recovered a fumble at the Northwestern State 13 to set up Hutchings’ touchdown run before Ruiz added a 41-yarder to make it 13-0 going into the second quarter. McGowen scored on a 20-yard run and, on the first play from scrimmage after the Lumberjacks (2-9, 2-6 Southland Conference) recovered an onside kick, Trae Self hit Gipson in stride for a 55-yard TD to make it 27-0 with 10:39 left in the first half.
Shelton Eppler threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Price to cut Northwestern State’s deficit to 27-7 at halftime but Gary Sampson strip-sacked Eppler for a safety and then Ruiz kicked a 44-yard field goal to make it 32-7 with 8:48 left in the third quarter.
Eppler was 27-of-50 passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns and Quan Shorts had nine receptions for 132 yards and a score for Northwestern State (3-8, 3-5).
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