HAMMOND, La. (AP) Cole Kelley passed for two touchdowns and ran for another score and Southeastern Louisiana beat McNeese 23-20 Saturday night for the Lions' sixth consecutive win.

Kelley threw a 1-yard TD pass to Damien Dawson late in the third quarter that capped a 12-play 77-yard drive that gave Southeastern Louisiana (7-1, 5-0 Southland Conference) the lead for good at 10-7. McNeese went three-and-out on its ensuing drive and, on the Lions' next play from scrimmage, Kelley dropped an arcing pass into the arms of Austin Mitchell who raced for a 77-yard touchdown and, after the PAT attempt was blocked, make it a nine-point lead.

The Cowboys (3-5, 2-3) again went three-and-out before forcing Southeastern Louisiana to punt but Brennon Dingle forced returner Mason Pierce to fumble and Anthony Spurlock recovered at the McNeese 21. Four plays later, Kelley powered his way into the end zone from 1 yard out on a designed run to give the Lions a 23-7 lead with 8:11 to play.

Deonta McMahon scored on a 3-yard run and Cody Orgeron added a 7-yarder to pull McNeese within three points with 41 seconds left but Southeastern Louisiana recovered the onside kick to preserve the victory.

Orgeron was 17-of-32 passing for 195 yards with a 20-yard TD pass to Pierce and finished with 20 carries for 95 yards for the Cowboys.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Sign up for the AP's college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.