Grambling State took the mystery out of its SWAC West Division showdown with Prairie View A&M in the 94th State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl with a second-quarter offensive explosion, reeling off 21 unanswered points en route to a 34-21 victory.
The G-Men (5-1, 2-0 SWAC) were tabbed to repeat as SWAC champions in preseason polls, and Prairie View was picked to be one of their chief challengers. However, the Panthers (2-2, 2-1 SWAC) were no match for the G-Men on either side of the ball. Grambling led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter before blowing the game open with its second quarter scoring barrage.
Running back Martez Carter’s 76-yard highlight reel touchdown run was the backbreaker. Carter hurdled a defender, bounced off a second as he set sail for the end zone. Grambling racked up 419 yards total offense. Quarterback Devante Kincade passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns for the G-Men, and Carter ran for 128 yards.
“It was a really good performance, but we’ve got to do a better job of cleaning up the penalties,” Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs said. “I thought we played well as a team. I thought we kicked the ball well with the field goals and did a good job with the special teams. Also, I thought we played well offensively and defensively. At the end of the day if we play well in all three phases then you have a chance to be very, very successful. I thought we were pretty dominant in all three phases.”
Grambling was flagged for 17 penalties that cost the G-Men 132 yards. However, they offset those mistakes by limiting Prairie View to 276 total yards, including just 12 on the ground, and forcing three turnovers. The G-Men were turnover free.
Alcorn State 24, Alabama State 10 – The Braves kept the winless Hornets on their downward spiral with a road SWAC victory Thursday night in what proved to be Brian Jenkins’ final game as coach their coach. Alabama State fired Jenkins Friday less than 24 hours after the Hornets (0-5, 0-2 SWAC) failed to score more than one touchdown for the third time in five games this season as Jenkins’ record at Alabama State fell to 10-17 overall and 8-12 in the SWAC.
Former Morgan State head coach Donald Hill-Eley, who is in his third season as Associate Head Coach with the Hornets, was named interim coach. Alcorn (4-2, 2-0 SWAC) led 24-0 at the half after hold a 330-10 edge in total offense over the Hornets.
Tuskegee 23, Morehouse 17, OT – The Golden Tigers continued their October with a victory over their traditional SIAC rivals in Columbus, Ga. The win improved Tuskegee’s in October over the past five seasons to 21-2. Tuskegee (4-2, 3-0 SIAC) had is most productive offensive game of the season despite a sluggish start.
The Golden Tigers amassed a season-high 336 total yards and overcame a 17-7 halftime after being held to minus-21 yards in the intermission. Quarterback Jamarcus Ezell scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard quarterback after Morehouse (3-3, 1-1 SIAC) failed to score on the first possession of the overtime period. Dalton Hall sent the game into overtime with a 23-yard field goal for Tuskegee as regulation time expired.
North Carolina Central 13, Howard 7 – The Eagles relied on their defense to extend their MEAC winning streak to 18 consecutive games with a road victory. North Carolina Central (4-1, 3-0 MEAC) came up with two takeaways that led to 10 points and held Howard (2-3, 1-1 MEAC), which entered the contest averaging more than 30 points a game, to just one touchdown.
Linebacker Reggie Hunter’s interception set up the Eagles’ first score, a 19-yard field goal by Aedan Johnson – his second of the game – that trimmed the Bison’s lead to 7-6 with 2:11 left in the half. Howard had taken a 7-0 lead on quarterback Caylin Newton’s 76-yard touchdown pass to Damion Gillespie.
Safety Davanta Reynolds third-quarter interception put the Eagles in position for the winning points. Freshman quarterback Chauncey Caldwell and receiver Jacen Murphy connected on a 30-yard touchdown to give the Eagles the lead that their defense made standup. Reynolds has had a takeaway in four consecutive games. Newton threw for 328 yards for Howard, but he had the two costly interceptions, and North Carolina Central held the Bison to only 72 rushing yards.
Tennessee State 45, Eastern Kentucky 21 – The Tigers’ defense was their best offense in a stunning Ohio Valley Conference road victory. Freshman safety Vincent Sellers returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns, and senior cornerback Terrell Bond also returned an interception for a score as the Big Blue (4-2, 1-2 OVC) picked up their first conference win.
The three defensive scores came in a span of three minutes, 42 seconds in the fourth quarter as the Tigers scored 28 unanswered points after trailing 21-17 entering the period. Sellers’ two touchdowns returns tied the FCS single-game record. Quarterback Michael Hughes passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third in his first start of the season.
Hampton 17, Savannah State 10
Norfolk State 35, Florida A&M 28
North Carolina A&T 44, Delaware State 3
South Carolina State 35, Morgan State 14
Southern 35, Alabama A&M 14
Mississippi Valley State 38, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 31
Kennesaw State 48, Texas Southern 3
Bowie State 41, Chowan 10
Fayetteville State 24, Shaw 21
Saint Augustine’s 30, Livingstone 29
Virginia State 56, Elizabeth City State 0
Virginia Union 45, Lincoln (Pa.) 23
Albany State 30, Lincoln (Mo.) 10
Fort Valley State 41, Clark Atlanta 24
Miles 41, Central State 20
Edward Waters 56, University of God’s Chosen 12
Langston 27, Lane 21
Lock Haven 62, Cheyney 0
Texas College 21, Texas Wesleyan 11
West Virginia State 35, Kentucky State 23
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