NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — Isaac Javonis recovered a fumble in the end zone for a game-winning score with 36 seconds left and Northwestern State stopped a final Houston Baptist drive in the red zone to complete a 28-24 comeback win on Saturday.
HBU’s Orion Olivas was sacked for a loss of 15 yards by Nanai Nathalohn and Jared Pedraza on the final play to preserve the 17-point comeback.
Northwestern State (2-7, 2-4 Southland) defeated Houston Baptist (0-9, 0-6) for the second time this season.
Houston Baptist built a 17-0 lead on the strength of touchdown runs by Tyson Thompson and Xzavier Ford. The freshman Olivas, who threw for 281 yards, was 8-for-8 passing on the opening drive. Gino Garcia added a 48-yard field goal.
Northwestern State put together four unanswered scoring drives — three touchdowns, a field goal and no successful PATs — to lead 21-17 by 5:27 of the fourth quarter, setting up a wild finish.
Houston Baptist wrested the lead back, 24-21 on Ford’s second touchdown run of the day. Northwestern State’s Gavin Landry, appeared to be stopped and stripped of the ball at the 1 on the Demons’ ensuing possession, but Javonis recovered in the end zone for the win.