By Kendrick Marshall - HBCUSports.com
After dropping three of the last four meetings to Grambling State, Southern University exorcized its Bayou Classic demons to win the SWAC Western Division championship in convincing fashion, 38-28 Saturday night.
The Jaguars (7-3, 6-1 SWAC), used the legs and arm of quarterback Ladarius Skelton, who threw for 217 yards to go along with three touchdown passes and another 79 yards on the ground to frustrate the Grambling defense.
With the win, Southern is 5-0 since Skelton was inserted as the starter down the stretch.
Southern, winners of the division for the first time since 2014, now advances to the SWAC Championship Game versus current five-time SWAC Eastern Division champion Alcorn State in Lorman, Mississippi, on Dec. 1.
“Our motto all year has been playing 60 minutes,” said Southern head coach Dawson Odums. “When you play like that, you’ve got a chance.”
“I thought our guys did a great job of executing that,” said Odums, who is 2-3 all-time against Broderick Fobbs. “We went for the block, and to start the game off like that is a great momentum builder for your team.”
For Grambing (6-5, 4-3), the 2018 season ends a month earlier than they anticipated — something that is unfamilar for a program that had dominated the league in recent seasons.
“My hat goes off to coach Odums and his staff for an outstanding job they’ve done,” Fobbs said. “I’m so proud of my kids. You’re not going to always execute, but to see their heart in fighting back and got us back into the ballgame, that is the thing I enjoy most. A lot of teams would have quit and a lot of teams would have given up when you’re down 31-13, but those guys fought back. We have been dethroned, but the way we fought back tonight, these guys have the heart of champions.”