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ULM runs over Grambling

Warhawks rush for 367 yards in home opening blowout

MONROE, La. – Buoyed by a powerful rushing attack that
racked up 367 yards on the ground, including 123 by senior Jyruss Edwards, ULM
earned a 48-10 victory over Grambling State on Saturday evening at Malone
Stadium.

The 367 rushing yards represented the highest total for the program since
recording 360 against Middle Tennessee on Nov. 3, 2007. In addition, the offense
crossed the 550-yard mark for the first time since totaling 553 against Tulane
on Sept. 29, 2012, with 571 total yards.

Kolton Browning led the passing game for the Warhawks, completing 13 of his
25 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Brayle Brown
entered the game late in relief, going 3-of-5 for 33 yards.

Rashon Ceaser led the way in receiving, hauling in six catches for 95 yards,
including a 25-yarder, the longest reception of the night for ULM. Cameron
Blakes led the Warhawks in tackles for the second straight week with seven.

For the Tigers, D.J. Williams went 11 of 24 for 143 yards and a touchdown,
Cedric Skinner tallied 109 rushing yards on 22 carries and Chad Williams gained
42 yards on two catches.

ULM got the game started with a bang, as Cortney Davis received the opening
kickoff and ran almost completely untouched up the left side of the field for
the 89-yard score. The kickoff return touchdown was the first for the Warhawks
since Luther Ambrose scored against FIU on Nov. 19, 2011, and gave ULM a 7-0
lead just 10 seconds into the contest.

The Tigers wasted no time in responding to the quick strike, however.
Starting from their own 25-yard line, Grambling used a balanced attack to move
the ball up the field. Cedric Skinner had three carries on the drive, but three
long passes from Williams were the difference. The quarterback found Chad
Williams for 27 yards, Brandon Byrdsong for 18 yards and finally hit Anthony
McGhee for the 17-yard touchdown pass in the red zone. Following Johnathan
Wallace’s point after, the game was knotted up at 7-7.


Edwards led the ground game on ULM’s ensuing drive as the Warhawks drove to
retake the lead. The senior running back pounded the Grambling defense on each
of his five carries, going for 37 yards with a long carry of 18. The go-ahead
touchdown came off the arm of Browning, who hit tight end Harley Scioneaux over
the middle for the 18-yard score to make it 14-7 in favor of ULM.


After forcing a three-and-out by the Tigers, Edwards once again emerged as
the key figure for the Warhawks offense. Set up by a 19-yard punt return by
Ceaser, ULM used just three plays to reach the end zone, all of which involved
Edwards. The first was a rush up the middle for six yards, followed by a
completion from Browning for 12 yards and finished off with a 19-yard run
between the tackles for the score, his first of the season to give the Warhawks
a two-score lead.

Penalties continued to plague the Tigers on their next drive. Backed up deep
into their own territory, a false start penalty on third down doomed the drive,
despite Skinner’s 10-yard gain on the following play. Ceaser nearly reversed the
field on his punt return, but was tripped up by a Grambling defender just before
hitting open space.

Browning went 3-of-4 on the next drive for ULM, which brought an end to the
first quarter. The senior found Tavarese Maye on an eight-yard pass to open the
drive, then hit Ajalen Holley on a short route for a four-yard gain. The biggest
play of the drive came as DeVontae McNeal exploded for a 35-yard gain on the
ground down to Grambling’s 16-yard line on the final play of the quarter. On the
opening play of the second, Browning found fellow senior Je’Ron Hamm for the
16-yard touchdown strike and the 28-7 advantage.


After a series of drives exchanged between the two sides with no score,
Ceaser called for a fair catch on a punt at his own 33 to begin another ULM
drive. Browning took control from that point onward, using both his arm and legs
to make plays for the Warhawks. On consecutive plays to start the drive, he
found Ceaser for a 12-yard and 25-yard gains before using his scrambling ability
to rush for another 19 yards.


The drive seemingly stalled at Grambling’s 26-yard line, but a defensive pass
interference call on fourth down kept things alive. After moving down to the
11-yard line, Browning immediately hit Kenzee Jackson for his first career
touchdown reception as a Warhawk, giving ULM a 35-7 lead heading into the locker
room.


McNeal took over as the Warhawks returned to the ground on their second drive
of the third quarter. The sophomore controlled the rushing attack, racking up
six carries for 59 yards as he was the lone ULM player to gain yards on the
drive. He broke his final carry for 34 yards on a dash up the middle before
veering to the left side of the end zone for the score. ULM took a 42-7 lead
with 8:04 remaining in the quarter after the run.


The scoring for the night was capped off by a trio of field goals: two for
ULM and one for Grambling. Justin Manton connected for the Warhawks from 31 and
38 yards, while Wallace hit from 25 yards for the Tigers to add up to the final
score of 48-10.


The Warhawks will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 14, as they travel to
Winston-Salem, N.C., to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-1). The meeting
will be the first time that the two schools have met on the football field and
will be televised on the Raycom Sports Network as well as ESPN3. The kickoff
time is scheduled for 12:30 ET.

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