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Southern University defeats Texas Southern 21-7


 
BATON ROUGE, La. — Carlos Stephens returned a blocked punt 17 yards for a touchdown one minute into the game and Southern University went on to a 21-7 victory over Texas Southern on Saturday.
 
Texas Southern (1-6, 0-4 Southwestern Athletic Conference) went three-and-out on the game’s first drive before Stephens opened the scoring with his return.
 
Ladarius Skelton finished a nine-play, 57-yard drive with a 4-yard run to give the Jaguars (4-3, 3-1) a 14-0 lead with 9:30 left in the first quarter. John Lampley threw 14 yards to Trey Smith for a 21-0 bulge late in the third quarter.
 
The Tigers’ only score came on Jay Christophe’s 6-yard pass to Adrian Carter to complete a nine-play, 76-yard drive with 8:52 remaining in the game.
 
Neither team reached 300 yards total offense with both teams turning the ball over twice.

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Tigers fight hard in road loss to Braves


 
LORMAN, Miss. | Marc Orozco booted a career-high 52 yard field goal and tied Brian Morgan as the Grambling State University All-Time Points Scoring Leader, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers gave up a late touchdown as Alcorn State captured a 33-26 victory in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game on Saturday at Jack-Spinks Stadium.
 
Grambling State (3-4 overall, 2-2 SWAC) took the opening kickoff and marched 78 yards as Geremy Hickbottom connected with Lyndemian Brooks for a 37-yard gain. Three plays later, Johntavious Robinson capped an 11-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to give Tigers a 7-0 advantage with 10:19 remaining in the opening quarter.
 
After forcing an Alcorn State punt, Grambling State went 44 yards in five plays as Hickbottom connected with Devohn Lindsey for 44 yards to set up shop at the Alcorn State 27. However, the Tigers were unable to move the ball and settled for a 44-yard field by Marc Orozco to extend the margin to 10-0 with eight minutes left in the first.
 
Grambling State’s defense forced another punt on Alcorn State’s next offensive possession and the Tigers put together a 9-play, 38-yard drive as Orozco booted a 39-yard field goal to push the lead to 13-0 with 3:19 remaining in the first.
 
On the ensuing kickoff, Javen Morrison returned the kick 60 yards to the Grambling State 30. Four plays later, De’Shawn Waller scored on a 12-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 13-7 with 2:17 left in the opening frame.
 
After a Grambling State punt, Alcorn State (6-2, 4-1) moved the football to the Tiger 9-yard line, but settled for a 26-yard field by Corey McCullough to trim the margin to 13-10 with 12:34 remaining in the first half.
 
Grambling State started its next drive at its own 4 after two penalties. Hickbottom carried the ball five yards, but coughed it up and gave the Braves first-and-goal at the GSU 9. Noah Johnson connected with Chris Blair for a 9-yard touchdown pass to give Alcorn State a 16-13 advantage, after the PAT was no good, with 12:06 left in the second.
 
On the next Tigers offensive possession, Hickbottom was picked off by Morrison, who went 34 yards to the endzone, to give the Braves a 23-13 lead with 11:16 remaining in the half.
 
Alcorn State got the ball to begin the second half and moved the ball to Grambling State 30 before Johnson was picked off by Kenan Fontenot, who returned the ball to the ASU 48.
 
The Tigers’ opening drive of the second half stalled at the Alcorn State 30 as Orozco connected on a career-long 52-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 23-16 with 6:51 remaining in the third.
 
After forcing a punt by the Braves, the Tigers set up shop at the Alcorn State 47. On third-and-16, Hickbottom got 27 yards on a pass to Devante Davis. Two players later, the redshirt sophomore quarterback was flushed out the pocket and ran 24 yards to the endzone, tying the game at 23 with 3:48 left in the third.
 
Grambling State’s defense forced another punt and the Tigers moved the ball inside the Alcorn State 10. However, Grambling State was unable to get into the endzone and Orozco tied Morgan’s record (325 career points) with a 40-yard field goal to give the Tigers a slim 26-23 lead with 12:03 remaining.
 
Alcorn State marched 60 yards in 14 plays as McCullough booted a 46-yard field goal to tie the game at 26 with 6:35 left.
 
Grambling State was unable to move the football and was forced to punt the ball with 1:42 left as the Tigers were flagged for catching interference, which set Alcorn State up at the Tigers 26.
 
On third on 20 from the GSU 36, Johnson connected with Dayall Harris for 33 yards and two players later, Blair caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to give the Braves a 33-26 lead with 12 seconds remaining.
 
Turning Point
 
It was a tale of two halves…
 
Grambling State led 13-0 with 3:18 remaining in the opening quarter. However, the next 18 minutes and 18 seconds belonged to Alcorn State as the Braves scored 23 unanswered points to take a 23-13 lead into the break.
 
The Tigers gave up a 12-yard touchdown run by De’Shawn Waller late in the opening quarter as the Braves trimmed the margin to 13-7.
 
Alcorn State scored 16 consecutive points, 13 off two Grambling State turnovers, during a 1 minute and 18 second span to turn a six-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
 
A fumble by Hickbottom turned into a Noah Johnson 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Blair and on the next offensive series, Hickbottom was picked off by Javen Morrison for a 34-yard touchdown return.
 
In the second half, the Tigers battled back and tied the game at 23, before taking a 26-23 lead. But the Braves scored the final 10 points to grab the 33-26 victory.

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Skelton accounts for 4 TDs, Southern beats Prairie View 38-0


 
PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — Ladarius Skelton rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns and Southern University smothered Prairie View 38-0 on Saturday after forcing five interceptions and holding the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s leading offense to 312 total yards.
 
Skelton added a 2-yard TD run to Martel Fontenot’s 22-yard field goal and Kendall Catalon scored on a 25-yard run for a 17-0 Southern first-quarter lead after its first three drives.
 
Skelton (27 carries) scored on a 7-yard run for a 24-0 halftime lead, then hit Trey Smith on a 5-yard TD pass on the opening drive of the third quarter. Skelton scored on a 9-yard fourth-quarter run and finished 15 of 26 for 168 yards passing for the Jaguars (3-3, 2-1), who had 518 total yards.
 
Jakoby Pappillion had two interceptions and Caleb Carter, Demerio Houston and Montavius Gaines each had one apiece as the Jaguars’ defense made a goal-line stand, sacked Prairie View’s Jalen Morton three times and held the SWAC’s leading passer to 18 of 41 for 251 yards.

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GSU uses strong third quarter to defeat TSU


 
HOUSTON, Texas | Geremy Hickbottom threw for over 300 yards and tossed three touchdowns as the Grambling State University football team used a strong third quarter to get past Texas Southern, 34-21, in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
 
“Texas Southern is a tremendous football team and is very-well coached,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “We made some key mistakes in the first half as we turned the ball over. We played well on both sides of the football and our kids continued to battle. We will take a look at the film and makes those adjustments as we prepare for next week against Alcorn State.”
 
Neither team could get much going offensively in the opening quarter. Both teams were able to move the football into the red zone and turned the ball over on fumbles.
 
After a scoreless first quarter, Grambling State (3-3 overall, 2-1 SWAC) had a chance to put points on the board when Marc Orozco’s 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Jarryl Taylor to keep the game scoreless.
 
Texas Southern (1-5, 0-2) picked up a first down on its next offensive possession, but a key sack by Jeremy Carter and a pass breakup by Chris Grant forced another TSU punt. However, Joseph McWilliams came in off the left side and blocked the Aaron Cuevas punt as Devante Davis scooped up the loose ball and ran six yards into the endzone to give Grambling State a 7-0 lead with 12:55 remaining in the first half.
 
After stopping Texas Southern on downs, Grambling State’s offense moved the ball, but Geremy Hickbottom was intercepted at the TSU 43.
 
Texas Southern cashed that turnover into points as TSU marched 52 yards in five plays as Tylor Cook scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game at 7 with 4:48 left in the second quarter.
 
Grambling State turned the ball over on downs on its next offensive possession, but on first down, TSU quarterback Glen Cuiellette was strip-sacked by De’Arius Christmas and the ball was recovered by Johnkil Skipper.
 
Just two plays after the turnover, Hickbottom connected with Kobe’ Ross for a 28-yard touchdown to give GSU a 14-7 lead with 2:33 left in the second.
 
Grambling State had a chance to extend the advantage right before the half, but Hickbottom was picked off at the TSU 1 by Matt Stephenson with 51 seconds remaining in the second.
 
Texas Southern looked to answer after the turnover, but Anfernee Mullins sacked Cuiellette as Grambling State took a 14-7 advantage into the break.
 
Grambling State took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 64 yards in 10 plays as GSU settled for an Orozco 34-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-7 with 10:49 remaining in the third quarter.
 
However, Texas Southern quickly answered the GSU scoring drive as Jay Christophe connected with Bobby Hartzog down the right sideline for a 75-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 10:38 left in the quarter.
 
Grambling State answered the scoring drive as GSU put together a seven play, 75-yard drive, capped when Hickbottom completed two passes to Devante Davis. His first pass covered 17 yards and the last was a 24-yard strike to push the margin to 24-14 with 7:32 remaining in the third.
 
After a Texas Southern punt, Grambling State moved the ball 58 yards in five plays as Calief Samon caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Hickbottom as GSU started pulling away with a 31-14 lead with 2:43 left in the quarter.
 
Texas Southern would not go away quietly as TSU went 75 yards for the score. Devin Williams found Chris Long in the back of the endzone for an 8-yard touchdown pass to close the gap to 31-21 with 14:53 remaining in the fourth quarter.
 
After a turnover, GSU got a 35-yard field goal by Orozco to push the margin to 34-21 with 8:01 remaining.

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Dual-threat Johnson leads Alcorn St. past Southern 20-3


 
BATON ROUGE, La. — Noah Johnson threw for 138 yards and ran for 81 and Alcorn State’s defense smothered Southern in a 20-3 win on Saturday night in the Jaguars’ homecoming game.
 
Johnson entered the game ranked 13th in the country in completion percentage (.684) throwing for 660 yards and rushing for 273.
 
After halftime, De’Shawn Waller plunged in from a yard out to end a 4-play, 58-yard drive to give Alcorn State a 10-0 lead. Alcorn State (4-1, 3-0 Southwestern Athletic) used a short field after Leishaun Easley returned Cesar Barajas’ short kickoff 23 yards to the Braves’ 42-yard line. Johnson had two carries for 56 yards — 366 and 20 — to get near the goal line.
 
Following Martel Fontenot’s 28-yard field goal for Southern (2-3, 1-1), Qwynnterrio Cole intercepted John Lampley and returned the ball for a 36-yard touchdown to pad the lead to 17-3 with 4:14 left in the third quarter.
 
Lampley completed 9-of-26 pass attempts for 59 yards and Devon Benn carried it 21 times for 60 yards; his longest run was 10 yards. Alcorn State outgained the Braves 381-139.

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Prairie View snaps Grambling’s streak


 
DALLAS — Jalen Morton threw three touchdown passes and Prairie View A&M snapped Grambling State’s 26-game Southwestern Conference winning streak with a 22-16 victory at the Cotton Bowl in the 95th State Fair Classic on Saturday night.
 
Morton was 22-of-34 passing for 269 yards. He threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Marckus Hardy and an 80-yarder to Dawonya Tucker to give Prairie View (3-3, 1-1) a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. Morton added a 4-yard TD toss to Zarrian Holcomb and the Panthers led to 22-2 late in the third quarter.
 
The Tigers rallied back when Geremy Hickbottom ran for a 3-yard touchdown, and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Quintin Guice with 1:53 remaining. Grambling recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt. Hickbottom then drove the Tigers to the Prairie View 30, but the drive ended when Ju’Anthony Parker intercepted his pass on third-and-10.
 
It was Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs’ first loss in five games against Prairie View. It was also Fobb’s first game against former Tigers assistant and current Prairie View coach Eric Dooley.

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Benn, Mims rally Southern to 29-27 SWAC-opening win


 
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Devon Benn scored on runs of 11 and two yards, Jarmarqueza Mims added a 25-yard run and the consecutive touchdowns lifted Southern to a 29-27 victory over Alabama A&M in a Southwestern Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
 
John Lampley rushed for 115 yards and passed for 204 with two TDs for Southern (2-2, 1-0) but was intercepted twice.
 
Aqeel Glass threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kendric Johnson and a 17-yarder to Jordan Bentley, staking Alabama A&M (1-3, 0-1) to a 21-6 lead. Bentley also ran 49 yards for a score,
 
Benn scored 21 seconds before halftime and his second TD run early in the third quarter put Southern ahead 22-21. Mims stretched the lead to 29-21 later in the third.
 
Glass scored with 1:13 remaining on a run from the 2 but fell short of the end zone on a two-point conversion run that would have tied the game.

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Tigers cruise in SWAC opener


 
GRAMBLING, La. | Malik Route scored on a career-long 79-yard punt return and De’Arius Christmas returned an interception 66 yards as the Grambling State University football team cruised to its first shutout win since 2016 with a 34-0 win over Alabama State on Saturday night at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.
 
The Tigers (1-2 overall, 1-0 SWAC) got a 79-yard punt return by Route to give Grambling State a quick 7-0 lead with 10:32 remaining in the opening quarter.
 
Grambling State extended the lead to 14-0 when Aldon Clark scored on an 11-yard with 5:56 left and on the very next the Alabama State drive, Christmas returned a deflected Darryl Pearson pass 66 yards for a touchdown as the Tigers built a 21-0 advantage through one quarter.
 
Marc Orozco, who came into the game 44 points shy of becoming the all-time leader in points by a kicker, booted the first of two field goals, a 21-yarder, to extend the lead to 24-0 with 6:39 left in the first half. He connected on a 29-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in the third quarter to push the margin to 27-0.
 
Midway through the final quarter, Geremy Hickbottom completed a pass to Kobe Ross and he was stripped of the football and Devohn Lindsey fell on it in the endzone to give the Tigers a 34-0 advantage.

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Southern beats NAIA Langston 33-18 in weather-shortened game

BATON ROUGE, La. — John Lampley threw for three touchdowns to help Southern beat NAIA Langston 33-18 on Saturday night in a weather-shortened game.
 
After a second delay due to lightning in the area, officials from both schools agreed to end the game with just more than a minute left in the third quarter.
 
Lampley was 9-of-15 passing for 121 yards and added 132 yards rushing on 14 carries. Kendall Catalon had three receptions for 58 yards and two scores and added a touchdown run for Southern (1-2).
 
The Jaguars were forced to punt on five of their first six possessions and trailed Langston 12-7 late in the first half. The Lions, however, failed to convert on fourth-and-2 from the Southern 39 and four plays later Catalon took a short pass and raced 41 yards for a touchdown to take a one-point lead after the PAT failed.
 
Southern’s Glen Brown III picked off a pass from Jaylen Lowe and a 61-yard run by Lampley set up his 10-yard TD pass to Catalon with 33 seconds left in the second quarter that made it 19-7.
 
After Lowe hit Michael Colston for a 4-yard TD to pull the Lions within one, Trey Smith scored on a 45-yard pass from Lampley and Catalon added a 4-yard scoring run out of the wildcat formation to cap the scoring.

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Big first quarter lifts Demons past Tigers

NATCHITOCHES, La. | Shelton Eppler threw four touchdown passes, including three in the first quarter, as the Northwestern State University football team jumped out to a big lead and did not look back in a 34-7 victory over Grambling State on Saturday night at Turpin Stadium.
 
Eppler threw touchdown passes of 20 yards (Jaylen Watson), 13 yards (Jazz Ferguson), 12 yards (Da’Von Smith) and 10 yards (Levar Gumms) in helping the Demons snap a three-game losing streak to Grambling State.
Northwestern State (1-1) took the opening kickoff and marched 73 yards in seven plays as Shelton Eppler connected with Jaylen Watson on a 20-yard touchdown pass in the right corner of the endzone to give the Demons an early 7-0 lead with 12:33 left in the first quarter.
 
Grambling State (0-2) was able to move the football on its first drive, but was forced to punt the ball.
 
The Demons cashed that punt into their second consecutive scoring drive. Northwestern State used just 2:34 off the clock and went 65 yards in seven plays with Eppler tossing his second touchdown pass, a 13-yarder, to Jazz Ferguson, to extend the Demons advantage to 14-0 with 6:57 remaining in the opening frame.
 
The Tigers were forced to punt after going three-and-out on their next offensive possession. Miguel Mendez’s punt travelled 16 yards and set up the Demons in good field position at the GSU 34 yard-line.
 
Northwestern State capitalized on the short field by going 34 yards in just three plays as Eppler found Da’Von Smith for a 12-yard touchdown to push the lead to 21-0 with 4:59 left in the first quarter.
 
Grambling State battled back on its next drive as the Tigers got a 38-yard pass from Aldon Clark to Raylon Richardson to set up shop at the Demons 12-yard line. Three plays later, Kevin Dominique scored on a six-yard run to cap a six-play, 70-yard drive and closed the gap to 21-7 with 14:45 remaining in the second quarter.
 
After forcing a Northwestern State to punt, the Tigers coughed the ball up and gave the Demons good field position inside GSU territory.
 
However, Austy Fendrick’s 36-yard field goal attempt was blocked by De’Arius Christmas to keep the deficit at 21-7 with 7:59 left in the first half.
 
Northwestern State added to the lead with a little less than two minutes remaining in the half as Hickbottom tossed his second interception of the night to give the Demons the ball at their own 47.
 
After the turnover, Northwestern State went 53 yards in three plays as Eppler connected with Levar Gumms for 10 yards to extend the lead to 27-7.
 
Grambling State got the ball to begin the second half, but a promising drive ended when Clark was intercepted in the end zone by Rashaun Croney.
 
The Demons put the game away early in the fourth quarter with a 14-play, 74-yard drive, capped by a Jared West 3-yard touchdown run to give Northwestern State a 34-7 advantage with 13:42 left.
 
Turning Point
 
Grambling State’s defense was on the field for 20 plays in the opening quarter as Northwestern State built a 21-0 first-quarter lead.
 
The Tigers defense surrendered 166 yards in the opening quarter, including 130 through the air. Shelton Epller threw touchdown passes to Jaylen Watson (20 yards), Jazz Ferguson (13 yards) and Da’Von Smith (12 yards).
 
Grambling State was able to punch in a six-yard run at the beginning of the second quarter from Kevin Dominique to close the gap to 21-7.
 
However, turnovers killed the Tigers on Saturday night as Clark and Hickbottom combined to throw four interceptions and GSU coughed the ball up once on a fumble.
 
Inside the Numbers
> Grambling State finished with 22 first downs
> The Tigers amassed 349 yards on 72 plays, with 208 coming on the ground
> Grambling State turned the ball over five times, including four interceptions
> Aldon Clark was 14-of-22 passing for 125 yards and two interceptions
> Geremy Hickbottom finished the night with 16 yards on 3-of-10 passing and two picks
> Aldon Clark led the ground game with 67 yards on 14 carries
> Kevin Dominique added 56 yards on 11 touches and one score
> Lyndemian Brooks rushed seven times for 47 yards
> Raylon Richardson caught one pass for 38 yards
> Devohn Lindsey added two catches for 25 yards
> Damien Crumitie led the defense with seven tackles, including five solo stops
> Devanir Martin registered six tackles
> Northwestern State recorded 29 first downs
> The Demons racked up 504 total yards on 79 plays, including 359 through the air
> Shelton Eppler was 24-of-31 passing for 263 yards and four touchdowns
> Jared West recorded 87 yards on 15 carries
> Stadford Anderson rushed 11 times for 49 yards
> Quan Shorts caught six passes for 78 yards
> Jazz Ferguson recorded 74 yards on seven catches and one score
> Jaylen Watson finished with seven catches for 55 yards and one touchdown
> Jalon Sangster tallied nine tackles, including three solo stops
> Ryan Reid added eight tackles, five solo
 
News & Notes
> Saturday’s game was the fifth meeting between Grambling State and Northwestern State
> Grambling State leads the series, 3-2
> Northwestern State snapped a three-game losing streak to Grambling State
> The Demons win over the Tigers was the first in the series since 2007
> Cecil Cherry was ejected in the third quarter for targeting and will miss the first half of the Sept. 22 game against Alabama State
> The Tigers were receiving votes in the STATS FCS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll
> Grambling State was ranked No. 1 in the SBN Black College Football Poll and No. 2 in the HBCU BOXTOROW Coaches Poll
> GSU is 36-45 all-time against teams from the state of Louisiana
> Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs remains 11 wins shy of 50 for his career
> The Tigers begin the season 0-2 for the first time since the 2015 season
> GSU is 0-2 this season when starting the game on defense
> Grambling State used a two-quarterback system with Geremy Hickbottom and Aldon Clark splitting time
> Grambling State is 3-7 when wearing the all white jerseys
 
Up Next
Grambling State will take a week off to prepare for its 2018 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and home opener against Alabama State on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium. The Tigers and Hornets met last season in Montgomery, Ala., with Grambling State picking up a 24-7 victory. Alabama State was in action Saturday night at SEC power Auburn. The Hornets will visit Kennesaw State next Saturday before facing Grambling State on Sept. 22.
 
Follow Grambling State Athletics
For complete coverage of Grambling State athletics, please follow the Tigers on social media at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter), /gramblingstateathletics (Facebook), @gramblingathletics01 (Instagram) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at gsutigers.com.

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