The most chaotic 10 days in the history of the winless Grambling State football team ended Saturday when the Tigers, who forfeited their game against Jackson State last week because of a player boycott, hosted SWAC foe Texas Southern.
But the losing continued as the G-Men suffered a 23-17 overtime loss that extended their losing streak to 13 consecutive games.
Grambling players had been displeased with the condition of their school’s athletic facilities, the firing of Coach Doug Williams, who was let go two games into the season, and a perceived lack of respect from the school’s administration. That prompted them to walk out of a meeting with Grambling president Frank Pogue and athletic director Aaron James, skip two days of practice and fail to board buses for their game at Jackson State.
The G-Men (0-9, 0-6 SWAC) appeared to have put all of that behind them early in the game. Quarterback D.J. Williams, the former coach’s son, threw a pair of long touchdown passes to help Grambling build a 17-7 halftime lead. Williams, who threw for 261 yards, connected with Chester Rogers on an 82-yard scoring play on Grambling’s first possession. He hit Anthony McGhee with a 62-yard touchdown pass.
Backup quarterback Jamal Small, who replaced injured starter Home Causey rallied Texas Southern (2-6, 2- 2-5) to victory. Small’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Jacquaa Peters in the fourth quarter tied the score at 17-all and sent the game into overtime. Grambling place-kicker Johnathan Wallace missed a 30-yard field in the extra session before Small scored the winning touchdown on a two-yard quarterback sneak.
The game was the head coaching debut for Grambling interim coach Dennis “Dirt’’ Winston, who began the season as defensive coordinator. Winston is the G-Men’s third coach this season after replacing former running backs coach George Ragsdale, who replaced Williams on an interim basis for six games. Ragsdale was unpopular with the players and was reassigned two days before Grambling’s scheduled game against Jackson State.
Bethune-Cookman 14, South Carolina State 3 – The Wildcats’ defense keyed their home victory that allowed them to claim sole possession of first place in the MEAC. The Wildcats (7-1, 4-0 MEAC) held South Carolina State (5-3, 3-1 MEAC) to 143 total yards, and they denied the Bulldogs a touchdown on five trips inside the 25-yard line. The Wildcats also stopped the Bulldogs on a fourth-down-and-two play at Bethune-Cookman’s 42 on South Carolina State’s first possession of the second half. Running back Isiadore Jackson scored on a four-yard pass from quarterback Quentin Williams in the first quarter, and Williams scored on a six-yard run in the second quarter to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead.
Jackson State 51, Prairie View A&M 38 – Quarterback Clayton Moore piled up 339 total yards and accounted for five touchdowns as the Tigers remained undefeated in the SWAC with a victory in a game played in Shreveport, La. Moore passed for 235 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the first half to Zach Pendleton, and ran for 104 yards and one touchdown. Running back Tommy Gooden rushed for 203 yards for Jackson State (7-2, 7-0 SWAC) as the Tigers gained 505 total yards. Prairie View also had some impressive numbers. The Panthers (5-4, 4-3 SWAC) gained 585 total yards, and quarterback De’Auntre Smiley passed for 408 yards and four touchdowns. The scored was tied six times – the last time at 38-all going into the fourth quarter. Gooden put the Tigers ahead for keeps with a three-yard run with 12:54 remaining in the game. Jarius Moore’s 10-yard touchdown at the 2:39 mark sealed the win for the Tigers.
Alcorn State 44, Southern 38 (OT) – The Braves keep their SWAC Eastern Division championship hopes alive with a road victory. Alcorn (7-2, 5-1 SWAC) is half game behind Jackson State in the division standings. Running back Arnold Walker, who rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns, scored the winning touchdown on a 25-yard run in overtime. The Braves nearly won the game on Southern’s opening possession in overtime. Jestin Williams returned an interception 88 yards but was tackled on the four-yard line. Alcorn led 31-14 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the third period, but quarterback Dray Joseph rallied the Jaguars (4-4, 4-2 SWAC). Joseph threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns. Southern sent the game into overtime when Greg Pittman kicked a 38-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining.
Alabama State 31, Alabama A&M 7 – Quarterback Daniel Duhart passed for 301 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Hornets to a sloppy victory in the 72nd Magic City Classic in Birmingham, Ala., in front of 63,113 fans, the largest crowd at a black college football game this season. Alabama State (6-2, 6-1 SWAC) gained 428 total yards, but the Hornets were penalized 15 times for 136 yards. Running back Malcolm Cyrus rushed for 138 yards on 17 carries for the Hornets. Alabama A&M (2-6, 2-4 SWAC) hurt itself with three turnovers.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 38, Miss. Valley State 18 – The Golden Lions, the defending SWAC champions, picked up their first victory of the season and ruined the Delta Devils’ homecoming in the process. Quarterback Benjamin Anderson threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns for the Golden Lions (1-7, 1-5 SWAC). Anderson also rushed for 123 yards, and he scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Cody Swain was on the receiving end of both of Anderson’s touchdown passes. Swain had six receptions for 153 yards. Quarterback Patrick Ivy came close to matching Anderson’s passing performance. Ivy threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns for the Delta Devils (1-7, 1-5 SWAC), who lost their third straight game.
Edward Waters 38, Newport News Apprentice 21 – Former Bethune-Cookman coach Alvin Wyatt made a triumphant return to the sidelines by leading the Tigers to their first victory of the season. Wyatt, the winningest coach in Bethune-Cookman’s history with a 90-54 record before he was fired four years ago, replaced Brad Bernard on an interim basis Tuesday after the Tigers lost their first seven games. Bernard was the offensive coordinator on Wyatt’s staff at Bethune-Cookman. Wyatt, who successfully sued Bethune-Cookman for wrongful termination, had been the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.
Alabama State State 31, Alabama A&M 7
Albany State 30, Clark Atlanta 7
Bacone 49, Texas College 13
Benedict 29, Morehouse 26
Bloomsburg 35, Cheyney 7
Bowie State 34, Virginia Union 7
Eastern Ill. 34, Tennessee State 14
Elizabeth City State 37, Chowan 31 (OT)
Fayetteville State 43, Saint Augustine’s 19
Fort Hays State 45, Lincoln (Mo.) 35
Fort Valley State 52, Concordia-Selma 19
Hampton 30, Delaware State 7
Howard 28, Morgan State 14
Langston 53, Oklahoma Baptist 7
Miles 38, Lane 26
North Carolina A&T 20, Florida A&M 13 (OT)
North Carolina Central 24, Savannah State 10
Old Dominion 27, Norfolk State 24
Shaw 39, Johnson C. Smith 7
Stillman 35, Central State 33
Tuskegee 36, Kentucky State 7
Virginia State 34, Lincoln (Pa.) 14
Virginia-Wise 18, West Va. State 10
Winston –Salem State 40, Livingstone 0