Grambling St. tops Southern, wins West Division
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Martez Carter’s 11-yard touchdown run with 3:22 remaining helped the Grambling State University football team overcome a late one-point fourth-quarter deficit as the Tigers won a thriller, 30-21, over Southern on Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the 44th Annual Bayou Classic.
“This was truly a great game,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “Anytime you have two good teams battling, you know it will be a good game. Southern is a well-coached team. Today, we made some mistakes, and had some key penalties, but overall I am proud of our guys for continuing to battle.
The Grambling State victory secured its third consecutive spot into next Saturday’s Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas against Alcorn State.
Southern (7-4 overall, 5-2 SWAC) took its first lead of the night, 21-20, with 5:02 remaining after Dillon Beard caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Austin Howard.
On the ensuing kickoff, Calif Samon returned the ball 41 yards to set up the Tigers at the Southern 40. However, after Devante Kincade rushed for no yards and threw an incomplete pass, Grambling State called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Kincade connected with Quintin Guice for an 11-yard gain. Two plays later, the Jaguars were flagged for a personal foul to give the Tigers a first down at the Southern 11. On the very next play, Carter rushed straight up the middle for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:22 left.
The Tigers defense rose to the occasion on the next Southern possession as Howard was sacked by Brandon Varner as the ball came loose. Varner recovered the ball at the Jaguars 21. Four plays later, Marc Orozco booted a 36-yard field goal to seal the victory.
Grambling State (10-1, 7-0) took advantage of a Howard interception on the game’s first offensive play and marched 37 yards in seven plays as Kincade scored on a 9-yard run to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead.
After a missed field goal, the Tigers took advantage and went 80 yards in nine plays as Carter caught a 9-yard pass from Kincade to extend the lead to 14-0 with 10:08 left in the third quarter.
Southern battled back and cut the margin in half as the Jaguars took advantage of a Carter fumble. Devon Benn scored on a 1-yard run with 3:40 left in the first half to trim the deficit to 14-7.
Back came Grambling State as the Tigers added a 42-yard field goal by Orozco to close out the first half on top, 17-7.
The Jaguars took over the momentum in the third quarter as Kendall Catalon caught a 20-yard pass from Howard to cap a five-play, 40-yard drive as Southern closed the gap to 17-14 with 3:31 remaining.
The Tigers quickly answered as Orozco booted a 37-yard field goal with 13:57 left in the fourth and that set the stage for a wild final five minutes.
--Grambling State Sports Information
Prairie View A&M 30, Texas Southern 16
Houston, TX – The Prairie View A&M University football team defeated Texas Southern 30-16 to win the Labor Day Classic for the third straight season.
The win by the Panthers (6-5 overall, 4-3) clinched the third straight winning season under third-year head coach Willie Simmons, a feat accomplished in the football program for just the second time since 1968 (2007-10). PVAMU defeats Texas Southern for the 11th time in the last 14 games.
“Like I’ve said before, when you play rivalry games, you throw all the records out the window, and everything that’s been done up to this week out the window,” said Simmons. “You have two teams that are playing for pride, and playing for bragging rights for the next 365 days. I tip my hat to Texas Southern. They came out and played a tough ball game as I knew they would. Our guys started slow and it took a while to get going. We finally started to do some good things, and get a lead. The defense played lights out, and sustained the lead for us. We did enough on offense and special teams, but defense was the difference maker tonight.”
Neiko Hollins completed 26 of 41 passes for 319 yards with three touchdowns. Josh Simmons had career highs in receptions (11) and receiving yards (153) with a touchdown reception, as the Panthers gained 429 yards total offense.
Defensively, PVAMU allowed only 190 yards, with 80 yards allowed on two of the 57 offensive plays while recording four sacks. Jalyn Williams had eight tackles, and Jalan Coleman six tackles, one sack, and 2.5 tackles for loss.
After a field goal gave Texas Southern (2-9, 2-5) a 3-0 lead with just over four minutes remaining until halftime, PVAMU scored a pair of touchdowns before intermission. Hollins moved the Panthers 54 yards in only four plays. Josh Simmons’ 36-yard scoring pass from Hollins put the Panthers ahead to stay at 7-3 with 2:21 to play in the second quarter.
Following a defensive stop, Prairie View A&M moved 83 yards in only seven plays over the final 1:03 to extend the lead. A 30-yard reception by Simmons and a 31-yard reception by Darius Floyd helped the Panthers move to the one-yard line. On the final play of the first half, Hollins’ one-yard scoring pass to Ronald Collins gave PVAMU a 14-3 halftime lead.
After TSU cut the deficit to 14-9 after three quarters, 16 straight points by Prairie View A&M put the game away. Zarrian Holcombe’s 12-yard scoring pass from Hollins ended an 11-play, 95-yard drive to extend the lead to 20-9 with 12:28 remaining. Following a 32-yard field goal by Zach Elder with more than seven minutes to play, Sta’Fon McCray’s one-yard scoring run with 2:20 to play sealed the win for Panthers.
--Prairie View A&M Sports Information