Tigers grind out SWAC win over Hornets
Contributed by: Brian Howard, Grambling Sports Information Director
MONTGOMERY, Ala. | The Grambling State University football team was held to just four first downs in the first half, but the Tigers were able to grind out a 24-7 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) victory over Alabama State on Saturday afternoon at ASU Stadium.
“Alabama State is a good football team and they played extremely well,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “We struggled to get the offense going, but that happens when playing one of the best defenses in the conference. Now we get some time to rest some players and focus on the Bayou Classic and a showdown with an excellent Southern team.”
The Grambling State offense couldn’t get much going early in the first half and the defense was able to hold Alabama State to just a pair of field goal attempts. However, the Hornets walked away with no points after a pair of blocks by Marchael Jackson and De’Aumante Johnson.
Despite not getting much going offensively, the Tigers were able to get into the red zone, courtesy of a 23-yard interception return to set up Grambling State at the Hornets 1-yard line. Just one play later, Martez Carter punched in the touchdown from one-yard out to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 3:43 remaining in the opening quarter.
Grambling State (9-1 overall, 6-0 SWAC) forced Alabama State to punt the football with 1:43 remaining in the first half and the Tigers went to work with the two-minute drill. Despite two straight incomplete passes, Devante Kincade connected with Jordan Jones for 35 yards to set up shop at the Hornets’ 19. After picked up a first down with his legs, Kincade hit Calif Samon for a 7-yard touchdown strike to give the Tigers a 14-0 advantage with 35 seconds left in the half.
After an Alabama State punt backed Grambling State to its own 18 and on the very next play, Carter broke free for a 59-yard run to set up shop at the Hornets’ 23. But the Tigers’ drive stalled out, but Grambling State got a 41-yard field goal by Marc Orozco to extend the advantage to 17-0 with 8:40 remaining in the third.
Grambling State put the game away midway through the fourth quarter as the Tigers marched 92 yards in 13 plays as Kincade tossed his second touchdown pass, a 44-yard strike to Devohn Lindsey to extend the advantage to 24-0 with 7:14 left.
The Hornets (3-6, 3-3) quickly answered as Alabama State went 77 yards in five plays as Darryl Pearson, Jr., connected with Ezra Gray for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 24-7 with 5:09 remaining.