By: Brian Howard (Grambling State Athletics)
LORMAN, Ms (Grambling State Athletics) – The Grambling State University football team nearly rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit, but the Tigers came up just short in falling to Alcorn State, 24-20, in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game on Saturday afternoon at Jack Spinks Stadium.
Alcorn State (3-2 overall, 2-0 SWAC) took the opening the kickoff and went 75 yards in just four plays as Felix Harper hit LeCharles Pringle in stride for a 45-yard touchdown strike, giving the Braves the 7-0 lead with 13:26 remaining in the first quarter.
Grambling State (2-4, 1-2) closed the gap on its first offensive series as the Tigers marched 47 yards in seven plays as Garrett Urban booted a season-long and career-long 45-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3 with 10:57 left in the quarter.
The Braves took advantage of a blocked punt and excellent field position as Harper rushed 14 yards up the middle and into the endzone, extending Alcorn State’s lead to 14-3 with 6:43 remaining in the opening frame.
Alcorn State’s defense forced a Tiger punt and the Braves’ offense went to work. ASU went 72 yards in seven plays, taking 2:49 off the clock. Pringle caught his second touchdown pass, this time a 13-yard strike from Harper, as the Braves increased the advantage to 21-3 with 13:48 left in the first half.
Grambling State took advantage of a personal foul penalty and went 35 yards in five plays as Urban booted his second field goal of the day – a 39-yarder – as the Tigers closed the gap to 21-6 with 5:17 remaining.
Alcorn State continued to add to the lead with 4:55 left in the third as Noah Kiani kicked a 23-yard field, which gave the Braves a 24-6 lead.
Grambling State answered and closed the gap on its next drive as the TIgers went 70 yards in six plays as Noah Bodden connected with Darryl Clark for a 20-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 24-13 with 1:24 remaining in the third.
The Tigers continued to rally and turned an Alcorn State turnover into seven points on their next drive.
The Tigers had opportunities over the final 10 minutes, but could not get over the hump as turnovers plagued Grambling State in the rally attempt.
CHECKING THE BOX SCORE
– Grambling State finished with 14 first downs and 258 total yards
– Noah Bodden went 10-for-27 passing for 105 yards, with one touchdown and one interception
– Aldon Clark went 5-for-5 passing for 67 yards and one score
– Aldon Clark led the ground game with 59 yards on 10 carries
– Greg White finished with four receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown
– Garrett Urban went 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 in extra points
– Garrett Urban punted the ball five times for 213 yards, including one punt inside the 20
– Joshua Reed paced the defensive with nine total tackles
– Alcorn State finished with 18 first downs and 357 total yards
– Felix Harper went 15-of-23 passing for 150 yards, with a pair of touchdowns and one interception
– Nike Duffey carried the ball 20 times for 138 yards
– LeCharles Pringle added four catches for 67 yards and two scores
– Nichel Herron led the defense with six total tackles
– Noah Bodden made his second career start at quarterback
– Grambling State’s defense has surrendered game-opening scoring drives in its last three games (Prairie View A&M, Alabama A&M, Alcorn State)
– Noah Bodden started at quarterback, but Aldon Clark also saw action in the second half
– The Tiger loss was just the third time Alcorn State had picked up a win over a Broderick Fobbs team and it was just the second time in the regular season the Braves had defeated Grambling State
– The Tigers have dropped back-to-back games at Alcorn State, which dates back to the 2018 season
– Grambling State’s last win at Alcorn State came in 2015 (35-34)
– The Tigers swept last week’s SWAC Weekly Honors (Noah Bodden – offensive player/newcomer of the week; Cameron Richardson – defensive player of the week; Garrett Urban – specialist of the week)
– Grambling State fell to 14-17 when trailing after one quarter and 22-3 in games played in October
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH BRODERICK FOBBS
“Hats off to a very good Alcorn State football team. I am proud of our guys for competing and fighting hard. We had some key mistakes we made late in the game and you can’t make those against good teams and expect to win. I felt offensively we struggled at times and our defense did a good job keeping us in the game and giving us an opportunity to win the football game.”
Grambling State returns home for Homecoming as the Tigers play host to Texas Southern. TSU played Southern in the Arlington Football Showdown on Saturday. Kickoff against Texas Southern is set for 2 p.m. from Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.