Tickets for the 46th Annual Bayou Classic go on sale today, Monday, April 8, 2019.
The Bayou Classic, ranked as the #1 HBCU Classic in the nation, is the iconic collegiate gridiron matchup between Southern University and Grambling State University, which will take place on Saturday, November 30, 2019 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Bayou Classic fans may also purchase tickets for the ever-popular Battle of the Bands & Greek Show to be held on Friday, November 29, 2019 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Tickets, which will be available on every seating level of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, can be purchased at:
- The My Bayou Classic website (www.MyBayouClassic.com)
- Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.com)
- New Orleans Arena Box Office (1501 Girod Street, New Orleans)
- The Grambling State University Ticket Office
- The Southern University Ticket Office (F.G. Clark Activity Center, 801 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge)
Ticket prices for the 2019 Bayou Classic Football Game range from $16-50. Tickets for the Greek Show & Battle of the Bands starts at $20 with options for VIP experiences.
Event management firm, New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), will once again be the management team for the 46th Annual Bayou Classic. NOCCI has been the event management firm for the series of events for the last nine years. NOCCI will once again manage the planning, marketing and execution for all Bayou Classic events held in New Orleans the week of Thanksgiving.
“We are eagerly planning the 46th Annual Bayou Classic and are extremely proud to be part of the power that is Bayou Classic this year,” said Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of NOCCI. “We will build upon our many accomplishments over the past nine years, so that all EXPERIENCE THE POWER that is Bayou Classic.”
Bayou Classic also officially announced the theme of this year’s series of events – “Experience the Power.”
Every year, the Bayou Classic team sets out to choose a theme that encompasses the whole experience, encouraging “cross-pollination” between all who attend – including our HBCU colleges leadership, alumni groups, students, entrepreneurs, football lovers, business people, political leaders and many more individuals that experience Bayou Classic.
“A big reason we’re excited about “Experience the Power” is precisely because we think it’s accessible to the everyone,” added Belletto. “After all, everyone who attends the Bayou Classic experiences the power of this Classic. Maybe that power is felt physically here in New Orleans. But maybe you’re somewhere else – maybe somewhere digitally, thanks to the power of technology and our NBC Sports broadcast. No matter where you are those that intersect with the #1 HBCU Classic in the nation experience a powerful force…a positive force…one that brings our whole community together as one.”
The first iteration of the new theme is in the launch of new graphics for this year’s Bayou Classic.
By Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The wait was a long one for anyone associated with the Southern football program. After three consecutive Bayou Classic losses to Grambling, the Jaguars finally got the turnaround they wanted.
But not without some drama. A fumbled snap let Grambling score a pair of touchdowns early in the fourth quarter, all before Ladarius Skelton led another scoring drive for Southern.
The sophomore quarterback made his first Classic start and looked like he had played the part many times before. His savvy play, mixed with a special teams punt block and recovery for the touchdown at the start, helped Southern win 38-28 before 67,871 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Next, the Jaguars (7-3 overall, 6-1 SWAC) will play in the SWAC championship game Saturday at Alcorn State, with the winner there set to face North Carolina A&T in the HBCU national championship Celebration Bowl Dec. 15 in Atlanta.
Skelton’s biggest pass play went for 80 yards to Kendall Catalon and put Southern ahead 24-13 midway through the third quarter.
Not long before then, Southern opened the second half with a drive that reached inside the Grambling 10, where a fumble picked up by Grambling defensive lineman La’Allen Clark and returned nearly the full length of the field suddenly had the Tigers in position to tie the score.
Thanksgiving Weekend in New Orleans Goes to the Tigers and Jaguars
Schedule of Events for the 45th Annual Bayou Classic
NEW ORLEANS –The Bayou Classic returns to New Orleans for its 45th year with its series of fan and family-friendly events throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Each year, this weekend of events brings together family, friends and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to see one of America’s greatest college sports rivalries and celebrate football, family and the traditions surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“What we want everyone to hear as we go into this week-long schedule of events is – ONE ROAR. We welcome fans, families, alumni and visitors to experience the best of the classics at this year’s 45th anniversary celebration of the Number One HBCU Classic in the nation,” says Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), the management firm of the Bayou Classic.
HIGHLIGHTS IN 2018
SWAC West divisional champion: Alcorn State, Jackson State, Grambling State, and Southern University are the four remaining teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference still eligible to win a league championship and secure a spot in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 15. Grambling (6-4, 4-2 SWAC) will face Southern (6-3, 5-1 SWAC) in a contest that will declare the SWAC West divisional champion. The winner of this year’s Bayou Classic will advance to the SWAC championship game to be played December 1 on the campus of the SWAC institution with the highest ranking.
Celebrity Guest JB Smoove: Comedian and actor J.B. Smoove will be in attendance at this year’s Bayou Classic. Smoove is an American actor, writer, comedian, and voice actor. Starting his career off with the television series Def Comedy Jam in 1995, he is best known for his role as Leon on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. He also starred on the CBS sitcom The Millers. He most recently portrayed a fictionalized version of himself on the BET improv-comedy reality television parody Real Husbands of Hollywood. Smoove will be part of many events throughout the weekend including doing a comedy skit at the Bayou Classic Greek Show & Battle of the Bands and attending the Bayou Classic Fan Festival.
World Record at Battle of the Bands: BET Networks, in partnering with the Bayou Classic along with National Artist Development Group, will coordinate the execution of the World’s Largest HBCU Soul Train dance line at Battle of the Bands in cooperation with the students and bands of Grambling and Southern Universities and the Bayou Classic. The Soul Train will be documented for the Guinness World Records organization.
Bayou Classic Halftime Show: This year’s Bayou Classic Halftime Show is presented by Procter & Gambel/Crest. This always electrifying performance is one of the highlights of the weekend each year and the presenting sponsor is bringing special surprises to this year’s performance.
Economic impact: Bayou Classic provides a $50 million economic impact to the City of New Orleans.
Visitors to New Orleans: Bayou Classic brings more than 200,000 visitors to New Orleans annually.
Hotel occupancy: Bayou Classic annually delivers a total citywide occupancy of more than 90 percent.
Ticket sales: Ticket sales for the 45th Annual Bayou Classic to date are higher than final totals of last year’s ticket sales.
Bayou Classic rankings: The Grambling State University Tigers lead the series with 23 wins
to Southern University Jaguars 21 wins in the Bayou Classic.
Bayou Classic Telecast: The 45th Annual Bayou Classic will be televised live on NBC Sports Network starting at 4 pm CST on Saturday, November 24. The Bayou Classic has been nationally televised since 1991.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, November 23
Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge: 11:00 am
Presented by GE in partnership with NexusLA
Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Honoring Bayou Classic’s commitment to technology, the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge is back for the third year in a row. Out of 14 registered teams from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities, five finalists will present their comprehensive business plans on Friday at 1:00 pm. The winning team, selected by a panel of expert judges will be presented with a cash prize of $10,000 before the Bayou Classic kicks-off on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Battle of the Bands and Greek Show: 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 pm
Greek Show presented by Be the Match; Battle of the Bands presented by USMC
NOTE: Media credentials needed to attend this event.
Approximately 25,000 people will be at the show, as the Southern and Grambling’s historic marching bands strut across the Superdome in a colorful showdown that is the highlight of The Bayou Classic weekend for many attendees. In addition, the Greek show will feature creative skits from traditionally black Greek organizations across Louisiana.
Again this year, fans’ votes will play a role in scoring the Greek Show teams, with the results being displayed live. Fans can vote for their favorite performance via the Bayou Classic App.
The Battle of the Bands will also have a special appearances by the US Marine Corps Band and a special skit by comedian and actor J.B. Smoove.
The Battle of the Bands will conclude this year with BET Networks coordinating the execution of the World’s Largest HBCU Soul Train dance line documenting it for the Guinness World Records organization.
Saturday, November 24
Doc Grigg’s 2x Around the Dome: 8:00 am
The Doc Griggs 2X’s Around the Dome Family Fitness Fun Walk encourages the community to “Get Checked. Get Fit. Get Moving!” by walking twice around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome while showcasing historical landmarks in New Orleans. The event demonstrates to more than 500 attendees that exercise can be fun while highlighting the importance of health, fitness and wellness through a variety of exercises such as Zumba, Hula Hooping, Second Line Dancing instruction and bicycling.
Annual Bayou Classic Parade: 9:30 am start time
Presented by Cricket Wireless, in partnership with the French Market District
The Annual Bayou Classic Parade continues this year in traditional, New Orleans fashion with twelve floats and more than 45 total units.
The Grand Marshall for this year’s Annual Bayou Classic Parade is Mayor of the City of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell. Miss Louisiana Holli Conway will also be in the parade this year. Parade goers will also be able to catch commemorative 45th Anniversary Bayou Classic cups and medallion beads.
Route details: Parade begins on Elysian Fields Avenue at N. Peters Street; proceeds down N. Peters St onto Decatur Street; turns right on Canal Street; turns left on St Charles Avenue; turns right on Poydras Street; turns right on Loyola Avenue; parade ends at Duncan Plaza located on Loyola Avenue at Perdido Street.
Bayou Classic Fan Festival: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Presented by Cox
Champions Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
An extremely popular pre-game celebration where live musical performances and entertainment get the crowd warmed up for the game. Schedule of performances for this year include:
• Xeno MoonFlower
• Kevin Stylez
• Daniel Heartless
• Kennedy Drum Line
• Metro and Honey Jack
• Keedy Black
• Tonya Boyd Cannon
• 5th Ward Weebie
• Jay Jones
• DJ Mannie Fresh
Fan Fest will also have a special appearance by the United States Army Band. Fan Fest attendees will also enjoy sponsor activations and special giveaways throughout the event.
The 45th Annual Bayou Classic Game: 4:00 pm (doors open at 2:30 pm)
NOTE: Media credentials needed to attend this event.
More than 200,000 people come to New Orleans for the Bayou Classic weekend, and 50,000 – 60,000 make their way to the Bayou Classic game. The Bayou Classic commemorates historically black colleges and universities, academic achievement, tradition, sportsmanship, marching bands, and friendly competition. The “Classic” is an exhibition of the high standards of academic achievement deeply embedded in the traditions of the two institutions – Grambling State University and Southern University.
Other game highlights:
National anthem: Miss Louisiana Holli Conway will perform the National Anthem at this year’s Bayou Classic.
The 45th Annual Bayou Classic Halftime Show
Presented by Procter & Gamble / Crest
The electrifying halftime show will feature the Grambling State University’s World Famed Marching Band and Southern University’s Human Jukebox and Dancing Dolls.
Tickets still available
Tickets are still available for purchase through Ticketmaster or the Bayou Classic official website, www.mybayouclassic.com.
For more information, download the official Bayou Classic Mobile App, follow Bayou Classic on social media or visit www.mybayouclassic.com.
About The Bayou Classic
The Bayou Classic ( www.mybayouclassic.com ) features one of America’s greatest college sports rivalries, bringing the fans and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans for a celebration of football, family and the traditions and pageantry surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Proceeds from the annual series of Bayou Classic events provide support to the campuses’ athletic programs and fund scholarships through the SU System Foundation and the GSU Foundation. The 45th Annual Bayou Classic will be played on Saturday, November 24, 2018.
The 45th Annual Bayou Classic is supported by the following organizations – Procter & Gamble/ Crest; MillerCoors; The Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Office of Culture Recreation & Tourism and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser; US Marine Corps; The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; New Orleans & Company; US Army; Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board; Be The Match; BET; MetroPCS; The Coca-Cola Company; AARP; Republic National Distributing Company/Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey; Cracker Barrel; French Market District; Cox; GE; UBER; New Orleans Plantation Country; FINRA; Entergy; Parish of Caddo – Shreveport, Louisiana; National Wildlife Federation; Visit Baton Rouge; Cricket Wireless; NOMTN – New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network; Mignon Faget; Downtown Development District; Essence; Louisiana Highway Safety Council – LHSC; Black Women’s Health Imperative; McDonald’s; Metro Disposal; Sheen Magazine; Sony Pictures – Spider Man; ULS.
Tickets for the 45th Annual Bayou Classic and the Battle of the Bands & Greek Show are on sale now. Tickets for both events can be purchased at the following locations: the Bayou Classic website (www.mybayouclassic.com), Ticketmaster, the New Orleans Arena Box Office, the Grambling State University Ticket Office or the Southern University Ticket Office.
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Jeffrey Ory, ABC, APR Karen Coaxum
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Mobile: (504) 458-5866 (texts acceptable) email@example.com
Purchase two tickets to the 45th Annual Bayou Classic for $20 using promo code: NOLA10 on Ticketmaster.
*Consumers must purchase a minimum of two tickets for this promotional offer. The promotional price of $20 for two game tickets does not include taxes and Ticketmaster fees.
GRAMBLING, La. | The Grambling State University defense came up with two big plays in the fourth quarter as the Tigers escaped with a 24-19 victory over Mississippi Valley State in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game during Homecoming and Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.
With Saturday’s win against Mississippi Valley State, and Prairie View A&M’s loss to Jackson State, the SWAC West Division title will come down to a showdown on Nov. 24 against Southern in the 45th Annual Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
Grambling State (5-4 overall, 4-2 SWAC) led 24-19 in the fourth quarter, but got a key 4th down stop at its own 2 when Danquarian Fields broke up a pass to turn the ball over on downs. After a GSU punt, De’Andre Hogues forced a fumble and recovered the ball at the MVSU 49. The Tigers nearly ran the remaining four minutes off the clock before defeating the Delta Devils.
“What we have to understand is that we are going to get everyone’s best game,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “Regardless of the record and regardless of who we are facing, you better be ready to play. We’re thinking and looking at film, but not playing with passion and the way we’re supposed to be playing. The thing that has really troubled me is how we’re going about playing the game. We’ve got to do a better job. Good thing is that we were able to come out with a win.”
Mississippi Valley State (1-7, 1-4) took the opening kickoff and marched 62 yards in eight plays as Dejerric Bryant scored on a 7-yard run as the extra point was blocked, giving the Delta Devils a 6-0 advantage with 10:50 left in the opening quarter.
Grambling State answered with a 15-play, 62-yard drive as the Tigers settled for a 34-yard Marc Orozco field goal to close the gap to 6-3 with 4:45 remaining in the first.
The Tigers took the lead for good early in the second quarter as Geremy Hickbottom connected with Darrell Clark for a 35-yard touchdown pass to give Grambling State a 10-6 lead with 12:54 remaining in the first half.
On the very next drive, the Tigers extend the lead to 17-6, as Devante Davis caught a 15-yard pass from Hickbottom, with 7:45 left in the second. However, Mississippi Valley State cut the deficit to 17-13 after a John Derrick Smith 5-yard touchdown run with just over a minute before half.
Grambling State took the opening drive of the second half and went 74 yards in seven plays as Kobe’ Ross caught a 47-yard touchdown strike from Hickbottom to push the lead to 24-13, but a Booker Chambers 22-yard touchdown reception from Fowler closed the margin to 24-19, with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
Grambling State led, 24-19, with 12:35 remaining, Mississippi Valley State put together a 12-play drive and moved the ball to the GSU 2.
The Delta Devils were forced to use all three timeouts during the drive and on 4th down at the Tiger 2, Christian Sutton got the ball on a reverse and his pass, intended for Chris Fowler, was broken up in the end zone by Danquarian Fields to keep the Tigers in front by five points.
After a GSU punt on its next drive, Mississippi Valley State got the ball with 4:32 remaining and appeared poised for one final drive. However, Isaiah Robinson coughed the ball up at the Delta Devils 47 and De’Andre Hogues came up with the loose ball to preserve the homecoming victory.
You’ll be sorry if you head to the kitchen to make that leftover turkey sandwich during halftime of the New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons game on Thanksgiving Day.
The halftime show could be almost as exciting as the much-hyped game with performances by Southern University’s Human Jukebox and Dancing Dolls, along with Grambling State University’s “World Famed” marching band.
The bands will not be performing together, said Southern University’s Janene Tate. Both, however, are high-energy units that dazzle with their music, marching and showmanship.
The performances will just whet the appetite of fans.
On Nov. 23, the two bands will face off in the Bayou Classic Battle of the Bands, and then on Nov. 24 both will again perform at halftime of the Bayou Classic game, also in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
While the performances at the nationally-broadcast Saints-Falcons game will put the attention on the bands, it’s almost business as usual for these two storied programs, both of which have performed at Super Bowls among many other prestigious events.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Ladarius Skelton threw for a touchdown and ran for a second and Southern got touchdowns from all three units as the Jaguars rolled over Jackson State, 41-7 in a Southwestern Athletic Conference contest Saturday night.
Skelton ran 15 yards for a touchdown on Southern’s second series and fired 27 yards to Trey Smith for a score to make it 14-0 after one quarter.
Demerio Houston recovered a Keshawn Harper fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to put Southern (5-3, 4-1) up 21-0.
Jackson State (3-4, 2-2) got its lone touchdown on Warren Newman’s 42-yard punt return for a touchdown, but Southern scored on the ensuing kickoff on a 92-yard return by Shontega Thomas.
Martell Fontenot kicked field goals from 31- and 42-yards out and the Southern defense scored when Jordan Lewis stripped Derrick Ponder on a sack and returned it 36 yards for a score.
GRAMBLING, La. | Geremy Hickbottom threw a 25-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime and the Grambling State University defense held off Arkansas-Pine Bluff on fourth down to rally for a 45-38 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) victory on Saturday afternoon at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers (4-4 overall, 3-2 SWAC) trailed 38-35 with 4:05 remaining, but Hickbottom led the Tigers down the field with an 11-play, 72-yard drive as Marc Orozco, who became the GSU and SWAC all-time career leader in points scored in the second quarter, booted a 20-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in regulation, tying the game at 38.
The Golden Lions (1-7, 0-4) had a chance to drive for the potential winning score in the final 40 seconds, but could not get past their own 40 as time expired.
Grambling State got the ball to begin overtime and Hickbottom wasted no time as he connected with Darrell Clark for a 25-yard touchdown, on the very first play of the extra period, to give Grambling State a 45-38 lead.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff got the ball for its overtime possession and were aided by a passing interference call on fourth down, which kept the drive alive. The Tiger defense was able to stop UAPB on three straight downs and forced a fourth-and-four from the GSU 7. After a timeout, Skyler Perry’s 7-yard pass to Kolby McNeal was initially ruled a catch on the field by officials, but the play was overturned after the replay review showed that the ball had hit the turf before McNeal secured the football, which allowed Grambling State to pick up the 45-38 victory.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 30-yard field goal by Jamie Gillan to cap an 8-play, 46-yard drive, giving the Golden Lions a 3-0 lead with 2:25 remaining.
A 5-yard touchdown pass from Hickbottom to Dorrell James gave the Tigers a 7-3 advantage with 9:50 left in the first half. However, the Golden Lions took a 9-7 lead into the half after Dejuan Miller caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Perry with just 18 seconds left in the second.
All it took was just two plays at the beginning of the third quarter to set the tone for a wild finish as LaDarrian Ellis-Jones busted straight up the middle for 74 yards to give Grambling State a 14-9 lead with 14:13 left in the period. But just as fast as GSU scored, Arkansas-Pine Bluff answered as Taeyler Porter rushed 75 yards to the endzone to give the Golden Lions a 16-14 lead with 13:57 remaining.
Grambling State capped a 9-play, 71-yard drive on its next offensive possession as Lyndemian Brooks rushed 44 yards to the endzone to put GSU back on top at 21-16 with 9:46 left. However, Porter scored on a 21-yard run to put Arkansas-Pine Bluff back in front, 23-21, with 2:46 remaining in the period.
After a turnover, Hickbottom went up top to Guice for a 35-yard touchdown to give GSU a 28-23 advantage with 28 seconds left in the third.
Back came Arkansas-Pine Bluff as Porter rushed three yards for the score as the Golden Lions converted the 2-point conversion to grab a 31-28 lead.
Grambling State answered, but this time it came from the defense as Linwood Banks got the strip sack and went 20 yards to the endzone to put the Tigers back on top, 35-31. However, the Golden Lions put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive with Miller catching a 5-yard pass from Perry, with 4:05 left, which set the stage for the come-from-behind victory.
In a game that had plenty of turning points, it all came down to the final four minutes of regulation with the Tigers trailing by three points, 38-35.
The Tigers began the drive at their own 25 with exactly 4:05 left on the clock. Hickbottom completed a 9—yard pass to Lyndemian Brooks on first down, but was sacked for a three-yard loss on the very next play, which set up 3rd and 4 from its own 31.
Hickbottom needed four and got 13 on a carry, then scrambled again for five more yards. Just 51 yards away from paydirt, Hickbottom found Brooks again, this time for 13 yards to set up first down from the UAPB 38.
After a timeout by the Golden Lions, Hickbottom completed a 19-yard pass to Quintin Guice to give the Tigers a first down at the UAPB 19.
With the clock dwindling down, Brooks rushed for 11 yards to give Grambling State a first down at the UAPB 9. The Tigers got as close as the Golden Lions’ 3 and Orozco booted the game-tying 20-yard field goal with 46 seconds remaining in regulation.
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.
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.
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.