DALLAS, Texas | The Traveling Trophy remains home as the Grambling State University football team put together an overwhelming first-half offensive exhibition as the Tigers rolled to a 34-21 victory over Prairie View A&M in the 94th Annual Southwest Airlines State Fair Classic on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl.
The Tigers scored 21 unanswered second-quarter points to put away the Panthers early in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game.
“It was a really good performance, but we’ve got to do a better job of cleaning up the penalties,” Grambling State head 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 dominate in all three phases.”
Grambling State (5-1 overall, 2-0 SWAC) took advantage of an interception by Prairie View A&M quarterback Lavell McCullers to begin the scoring.
The Panthers (2-3, 2-1) got the ball in good field possession to start the game, but McCullers’ pass was picked off by Kendall Hill to give the Tigers the ball on their own 30-yard line.
Grambling State capitalized off the turnover as Kincade connected with Calif Samon for 43 yards to set up shop on the Panthers 20. Two plays later, Kincade found Darrell Clark, who weaved in and out of traffic for the 16-yard touchdown.
After Prairie View A&M was forced to punt, Grambling State began its next drive at its own 34.
The Tigers got another big offensive play when Kincade connected with Martez Carter for 47 yards and three plays later, Marc Orozco booted a 40-yard field goal to give Grambling State a 10-0 advantage with 5:59 remaining in the opening quarter.
Khadarel Hodge caught a 22-yard pass in the right corner from McCullers to cut the deficit to 10-7 with 1:43 left in the first.
Grambling State responded early in the second quarter as Carter received the ball in the backfield from Kincade, hurdled over a defender and bounced off another before rumbling 76 yards for the score as the Tigers increased the lead to 17-10 with 12:34 remaining in the first half.
On the next Tigers possession, it was Kincade to Clark, this time for 29 yards as Grambling State was in cruise control at 24-7 with 9:24 left in the second.
Grambling State put the exclamation mark on an excellent first half with 4:03 remaining as Lyndemian Brooks caught a 12-yard pass from Kincade to extend the margin to 31-7.
Prairie View A&M trimmed the deficit to 31-14 with 5:55 remaining in the third quarter as the Panthers got a 52-yard punt return by Ju’Anthony Park and on the next play, McCullers connected with Joshua Simmons for an eight-yard score.
The Tigers took advantage of the Panthers’ second turnover and cashed it into three points. A 40-yard field goal by Orozco pushed the lead to 34-14 with 10 seconds left in the third.
Prairie View A&M added a score in the final minute as Marckus Hardy caught an eight-yard touchdown pass by Panthers backup quarterback Neiko Hollins to trim the lead to 34-21 with 57 seconds remaining.
For the first time this season, Grambling State played a complete game and put away an opponent early.
The Tigers put up 345 total yards of offense in the first half and the defense allowed just 94 yards, including 21 on the ground, to the Panthers.
Leading 10-7, Grambling State put up 21 points in the second quarter with Martez Carter starting the scoring with his 76-yard touchdown run.
Devante Kincade, firing on all cylinders, connected with Darrell Clark (29 yards) and Lyndemian Brooks (12 yards) to account for the scoring in the quarter.
Inside the Numbers
· Devante Kincade threw three first-half touchdowns and was 9-of-13 passing for 226 yards.
· Martez Carter averaged 12.4 yards a carry in the first half (eight carries for 99 yards).
· Devante Kincade posted his second consecutive 200-yard passing game.
· Devante Kincade finished with 265 yards on 14-of-23 passing and three touchdowns.
· Martez Carter rushed for 128 yards on 16 carries.
· Darrell Clark caught five passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 13.2 yards per reception.
· Anfernee Mullins finished with six total tackles, including three solo.
· De’Andre Hogues and Ja’Terious Pouncy each recorded five tackles.
· Lavell McCullers finished with 194 yards on 16-of-29 passing with two touchdowns and one interception.
· Joshua Simmons caught four passes for 90 yards, including one for 52 yards.
· Khadarel Hodge registered 101 yards on six catches and one touchdown.
· Anthony Stubbs led the way defensively for the Panthers with six solo tackles.
· Jalyn Williams added six tackles, including three solo stops.
· Grambling State finished with 419 total yards of offense, including 265 through the air.
· The Tigers were flagged 17 times for 132 yards.
· Grambling State’s defense held PVAMU to just 12 yards rushing on 30 attempts.
· The Tigers were 2-for-2 in Red Zone Chances.
News & Notes
· For just the third time this season, Grambling State scored on its opening drive.
· Grambling State’s 31 first-half points were the most in a half this season.
· GSU’s 31 first-half points were the most in a half since Nov. 19, 2016 when the Tigers scored 33 against Texas Southern.
· The Tigers averaged 28.4 points in the five games prior to Saturday’s victory.
· In the four Grambling State wins prior to Saturday, the Tigers averaged 32.0 points.
· Grambling State came into the game ranked No. 19 in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll, #21 in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll, No. 1 in the SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll and No. 2 in the BOXTOROW Coaches and Media Poll.
· The Tigers have now won four straight Southwest Airlines State Fair Classics.
· Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs remains unbeaten in four tries against Prairie View A&M.
· Devante Kincade was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
· Grambling State wore its all-white jersey’s on Saturday and the Tigers improved to 3-5 when wearing those jerseys during the Broderick Fobbs era.
· Broderick Fobbs remained unbeaten (11-0) in the month of October after Saturday’s win.
· Grambling State improved to 26-5 against Prairie View A&M in the State Fair Classic.
Grambling State will take a week off before preparing for back-to-back home games. The Tigers will play host to Alcorn State on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
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