DALLAS, Texas | The Traveling Trophy remains home as the Grambling State University football team put together an overwhelming first-half offensive exhibition as the Tigers rolled to a 34-21 victory over Prairie View A&M in the 94th Annual Southwest Airlines State Fair Classic on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl.
The Tigers scored 21 unanswered second-quarter points to put away the Panthers early in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game.
“It was a really good performance, but we’ve got to do a better job of cleaning up the penalties,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “I thought we played well as a team. I thought we kicked the ball well with the field goals and did a good job with the special teams. Also, I thought we played well offensively and defensively. At the end of the day if we play well in all three phases then you have a chance to be very, very successful. I thought we were pretty dominate in all three phases.”
Grambling State (5-1 overall, 2-0 SWAC) took advantage of an interception by Prairie View A&M quarterback Lavell McCullers to begin the scoring.
The Panthers (2-3, 2-1) got the ball in good field possession to start the game, but McCullers’ pass was picked off by Kendall Hill to give the Tigers the ball on their own 30-yard line.
Grambling State capitalized off the turnover as Devante Kincade connected with Calif Samon for 43 yards to set up shop on the Panthers 20. Two plays later, Kincade found Darrell Clark, who weaved in and out of traffic for the 16-yard touchdown.
After Prairie View A&M was forced to punt, Grambling State began its next drive at its own 34.
The Tigers got another big offensive play when Kincade connected with Martez Carter for 47 yards and three plays later, Marc Orozco booted a 40-yard field goal to give Grambling State a 10-0 advantage with 5:59 remaining in the opening quarter.
PVAM's Khadarel Hodge caught a 22-yard pass in the right corner from McCullers to cut the deficit to 10-7 with 1:43 left in the first.
Grambling State responded early in the second quarter as Carter received the ball in the backfield from Kincade, hurdled over a defender and bounced off another before rumbling 76 yards for the score as the Tigers increased the lead to 17-10 with 12:34 remaining in the first half.
On the next Tigers possession, it was Kincade to Clark, this time for 29 yards as Grambling State was in cruise control at 24-7 with 9:24 left in the second.
Grambling State put the exclamation mark on an excellent first half with 4:03 remaining as Lyndemian Brooks caught a 12-yard pass from Kincade to extend the margin to 31-7.
Prairie View A&M trimmed the deficit to 31-14 with 5:55 remaining in the third quarter as the Panthers got a 52-yard punt return by Ju’Anthony Park and on the next play, McCullers connected with Joshua Simmons for an eight-yard score.
The Tigers took advantage of the Panthers’ second turnover and cashed it into three points. A 40-yard field goal by Orozco pushed the lead to 34-14 with 10 seconds left in the third.
Prairie View A&M added a score in the final minute as Marckus Hardy caught an eight-yard touchdown pass by Panthers backup quarterback Neiko Hollins to trim the lead to 34-21 with 57 seconds remaining.
~ Gramblling Sports Information