Arkansas-Pine Bluff quarterback Benjamin Anderson was a one-man wrecking crew Saturday against Grambling State. But the G-Men survived his virtuoso performance for a 63-39 home SWAC victory to remain the only unbeaten team in conference play. Anderson had a scintillating performance even though the G-Men (5-3, 6-0 SWAC) kept heavy pressure on him the entire game.
They sacked Anderson eight times and intercepted him twice. Still Anderson accounted for 533 yards total offense. The senior from Little Rock passed for 467 yards and two touchdowns while completing 27 of 50 attempts, and he ran for 66 yards and two more touchdowns on 28 rushing attempts.Arkansas-Pine (1-5, 0-4 SWAC) had 570 total yards as a team. Grambling quarterback Johnathan Williams, No. 3 on the depth chart when the season began, had a spectacular game as well. Williams completed 19 of 27 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff led 3-0 midway through the first period, but Grambling took command of the contest in the second quarter and led 28-10 at the half. The G-Men forged their lead with quick-hitting scores. Three of their touchdowns came on drives of two plays or less. Williams connected with Verlon Hunter on a 73 scoring play for Grambling’s first touchdown on the first play from scrimmage after Tyler Strickland booted a 31-yard field goal for the Golden Lions. Williams also had touchdown passes of 44 and 38 yards that culminated in two-play drives. Grambling also scored when defensive back Randolph Giovanni returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown.
The G-Men blew the game open with four touchdowns in the third quarter and led 56-25 going into the fourth quarter. Williams scored two of the G-Men’s touchdown in the quarter on runs of six and 14 yards. Arkansas-Pine Bluff dictated the tempo in spite of the lopsided score. The Golden Lions ran 92 offensive plays to 56 for Grambling, and they controlled the ball for more than 38 minutes. However, Grambling’s big plays offset Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s advantage in those categories.
“I’ll take the big plays, but it had more to do with our lack of ability to get off the field on third down,’’ Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs said about Arkansas-Pine Bluff converting 12 of 19 third down opportunities. “When you give a team that many opportunities, it’s tough on your defense, but we were able to do a better job of that in the second half.”
Bethune-Cookman 48, Savannah State 20 – The Wildcats showcased their depth en route to an easy MEAC road victory. Backup freshman quarterback Larry Brihm started in place of Quentin Williams, who sat out the game, and threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns; reserve running back Danny Dillard rushed for 87 yards for the Wildcats (6-1, 3-0 MEAC), who had 289 yards on the ground. Savannah State (0-7, 0-4) had five turnovers and gained just 202 yards total offense while suffering its 27th consecutive conference loss. The victory for Bethune-Cookman, coupled with North Carolina Central’s loss to Morgan State, gives the Wildcats sole possession of first place in the MEAC.
Morgan State 21, North Carolina Central 20 – The Bears won their Homecoming game thanks to Andrew King’s late-game heroics. King caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Council with 32.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift Morgan State. Council rushed for a game-high 122 yards and a touchdown, a 15-yard first-quarter run that gave the Bears (4-3, 3-1 MEAC) a 7-0 lead.North Carolina Central (3-4, 2-1 MEAC) scored 20 unanswered points and appeared to have control of the game with a 20-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, Herb Walker scored on a four-yard run for Morgan State with 9:03 left to play, setting the stay for King’s winning catch.
Florida A&M 31, Howard 28 – The Rattlers ruined the Bison’s homecoming despite a heroic performance by Howard quarterback Greg McGhee. Howard (1-7, 0-4 MEAC) trailed the Rattlers (2-5, 2-1 MEAC 24-7 at the half after only generating 72 total yards. The Bison, playing without 10 injured starters, trailed 31-7 in the third quarter McGhee, who is on the verge breaking the MEAC career total offense record but only had 47 passing yards in the first half, rallied the Bison. He finished the game with 399 total yards – 258 passing and 141 rushing. McGhee also threw three touchdown passes. He rushed for 98 yards in the second half despite leaving the contest briefly in the third period with a knee injury. Florida A&M quarterback Damien Fleming passed for 164 yards and two touchdowns and had 229 total yards. Florida A&M’s defense dominated the game in the early stages. The Rattlers sacked McGhee twice during Howard’s first five plays and held the Bison to one-yard total offense in the first quarter.
Tuskegee 61, Stillman 19 – The Golden Tigers turned showdown for the SIAC Western Division lead into a beat down as sophomore running back Hoderick Lowe scored three times. Lowe scored on runs of four, three and 17 yards as the Golden Tigers (5-2, 4-0 SIAC) remained unbeaten in conference play while handing Stillman (4-3, 3-1 SIAC) its first conference loss. Lowe rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries. The Golden Tigers finished the game with 276 rushing yards. Tyree Brooks was their leading rusher with 81 yards on 11 carries. Quarter Kevin Lacey was 9-for-15 passing for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Tuskegee scored on its first four possessions and turned the game into a laugher with a 42-13 halftime lead. The Golden Tigers had 488 total yards, double Stillman’s output of 242. The 61 points were the most by the Golden Tigers since they defeated Alabama State 64-58 in the 2007 Turkey Day Classic.
Norfolk State 21, Hampton 13
North Carolina A&T 33, Delaware State 20
Alcorn State 40, Texas Southern 25
Prairie View A&M 52, Miss. Valley State 19
Livingstone 21, Shaw 20
Elizabeth City State 27, Lincoln (Pa.) 26
Fayetteville State 34, Johnson C. Smith 14
Virginia State 24, Bowie State 14
Virginia Union 40, Chowan 29
Winston-Salem 36, Saint Augustine’s 13
SIAC Albany State 31, Morehouse 16 Benedict 20,
Clark Atlanta 10 Central State 31,
Concordia-Selma 6 Fort Valley State 24,
Limestone 19 Miles 19, Kentucky State 13
OTHERS Charleston 28, West Virginia State 10
Lincoln (Mo.) 62, Texas College 6
Lock Haven 28, Cheyney 0
Paine 38, Edward Waters 14
Tennessee-Martin 21, Tenn. State 16
Wayland Baptist 38, Langston 0
(Photo: University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff)