Northwestern State wins Jay Thomas’ debut

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — New Northwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins ran for the tying touchdown and threw for the go-ahead score Thursday night as the Demons posted a season-opening 23-17 win to open coach Jay Thomas’ tenure in Natchitoches.

Adkins’ 4-yard keeper on third down forged a 17-17 tie. The Demons moved ahead on their next series when Adkins found Shakeir Ryan and the freshman flanker outran defenders down the sideline to complete a 51-yard strike.

The win was the Demons’ first on the road in a season opener since a 27-23 victory at Louisiana-Monroe in 2005.

Adkins threw for 233 yards and two interceptions on 24-for-37 passing.