By: Brian Howard (GSU Athletic Communications)
GRAMBLING, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Noah Bodden made his first career start at quarterback and shook off some early jitters as the Grambling State University football team scored 24 unanswered points in an explosive second quarter as the Tigers picked up their first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) victory with a 37-28 win over Alabama A&M on Saturday afternoon at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.
Grambling State (2-3 overall, 1-1 SWAC) fell behind 14-0 early in the second quarter, but capitalized on three Bulldog turnovers and cashed them all into 21 points before taking a 24-14 advantage into the break.
Alabama A&M (3-1, 1-1) took the opening kickoff and marched 87 yards in 10 plays as Aqeel Glass tossed the first of his four touchdowns to Dee Anderson, an 8-yard score, to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 11:49 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs added to the lead early in the second quarter as Anderson caught an 8-yard touchdown strike from Glass, extending the margin to 14-0 with 13:15 left in the first half.
After a Grambling State punt, the Tiger defense went to work as Glass was picked off by Brendan Vaughn and returned it to the AAMU 20.
The Tigers cashed the turnover into seven points as Isaiah Gray caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Bodden, as GSU cut the deficit to 14-7 with 7:58 remaining.
On the ensuing kickoff, GSU kicker Garrett Urban’s kick fell in between the 20 and 30 yardline and was recovered by Rey Estes as the Bulldog 15.
Grambling State turned the good field position into three points as Urban booted a 39-yard field goal with 6:16 left, trimming the margin to 14-10.
The Tiger defense came up big again as Quincy Mitchell picked off Glass and returned the interception to the Bulldog 15.
On the very next play, Bodden found Dorrell James for a 15-yard touchdown strike, giving Grambling State a 17-14 lead with 5:22 remaining.
Grambling State’s defense again caused havoc on Alabama A&M’s next drive as Glass was sacked by Sundiata Anderson as the ball came loose. Cameron Richardson came up with the ball and rumbled 21 yards for the score as the Tigers extended the advantage to 24-14 with 4:38 left.
The Tigers pushed the advantage to 31-14 after Bodden connected with Kobe Ross for a 60-yard touchdown down the right sideline with 3:25 left in the third, which set up a wild fourth quarter.
Urban’s 27-yard field goal with 11:37 left gave Grambling State a 34-14 advantage, but that left a lot of time for Glass and the offensive passing attack for the Bulldogs.
Glass threw a 66-yard touchdown strike to Idieu Hilare and an 8-yard touchdown to Anderson to close the gap to 34-28 with 5:31 remaining.
Grambling State marched 55 yards on six plays, but Bodden was picked off by Jamal Irby, giving one last hope for the Bulldogs.
However, on the very next play, Glass was intercepted by Richardson and returned to the AAMU 17.
The interception set up Urban’s third field goal of the day, a 27-yarder, which sealed the game with 43 seconds left.
CHECKING THE BOX SCORE
– Grambling State finished with 15 first downs and 275 total yards
– The Tigers registered 191 yards passing and 84 rushing yards
– Noah Bodden went 16 of 34 passing for 191 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception
– Darqueze Brutton rushed for 82 yards on 22 carries
– Kobe Ross caught four passes for 81 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown
– Garrett Urban booted field goals of 27 yards (twice) and 39 yards
– Rey Estes led the defense with six total tackles
– Sundiata Anderson registered two sacks
– Grambling State was 5-for-6 in Red Zone Chances
– Alabama A&M finished with 26 first downs and 477 total yards
– The Bulldogs recorded 446 yards passing
– Aqeel Glass went 36 of 62 passing for 446 yards, with four touchdowns and four interceptions
– Gary Quarles tallied 59 yards on 14 carries
– Odieu Hilaire recorded 10 catches for 161 yards
– Abdul Ibrahim registered 133 yards on 10 catches
– Branden Bailey led the defense with seven total tackles
– Noah Bodden made his first career start at quarterback
– The Tigers exploded for 24 second-quarter points
– Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass threw four interceptions, which resulted in 24 points
– Glass, the SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, has never beaten Grambling State
– Grambling State improved to 45-2 during the Fobbs era when leading at halftime
– The Tigers improved to 14-11 in games decided by eight points or less
– Broderick Fobbs remains perfect (6-0) against Alabama A&M
– The Tigers are now 22-2 during the Fobbs era in games played in October
– The Grambling State victory keeps the Tigers hopes alive for a SWAC West Division title
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH BRODERICK FOBBS
“It’s a huge win. I mean, it’s the conference champions from the spring season. But, we got a freshman that’s going to be a really good player. He’s a gamer, he’s going to be a great one. We just gotta keep him up right and keep him healthy and just continue to teach him the things he needs to know. Anytime you playing against a great offense, there’s gonna be points scored,” Fobbs said. “We just feel if we can score points then we can win football games because our defense is really good. We played hard today, and we played with passion. I thought from the beginning of the day when we got up this morning for team chapel we had passion, and that’s what it takes to win football games. The future is bright, but we want the future to be right now.”
Grambling State takes to the road next Saturday as the Tigers visit Alcorn State. The Braves are off this weekend and are coming off an emotional come-from-behind victory on Sept. 23. The Tigers and Braves last met in 2019, a 19-16 Grambling State overtime win at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium. Kickoff at Jack Spinks Stadium in Lorman, Miss. is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+