Faced with the challenge of taking on the defending SWAC Champion featuring an offensive unit that’s averaging over 40 points per contest, the Grambling State Tigers turned the tables with a dominant 31-6 victory over Alabama A&M at Robinson Stadium on Saturday night.
Grambling State immediately set the tone on the game’s opening drive as the Tigers marched down the field in 11 plays for a 66-yard drive that was capped off by Brandon Landers’ 18-yard touchdown pass to Clyde Edwards at the 10:33 mark.
After a GSU fumble recovery, the Bulldogs took advantage and trimmed GSU’s margin to 7-3 with 7:37 remaining in the quarter on a Jeremy Licea 37-yard field goal.
On Grambling State ’s ensuing drive, the Tigers quickly erased their previous mistake and rode the legs of freshman running back Frank Warren to move in position for their next score. The Tigers threatened the add another touchdown but were forced to settle for a 29-yard Tim Manuel field goal for a 10-3 advantage late in the quarter.
After switching possessions, the Tigers moved ahead17-3 when freshman running back Cornelius Walker rushed in for a 2-yard run. Wideout Kovarus Hills put GSU in position to score with a key 37-yard reception from Landers during the drive. Despite being down by 14 points, AAMU fought back at the close of the half and managed to end the half with a 36-yard field goal by Licea to enter halftime down 17-6.
The beginning of the third quarter featured a defensive struggle as both squads alternated possessions until the end of the quarter. As the quarter came to a close, offensive coordinator James Spady pulled a rabbit out of the team’s playbook and fooled the entire Bulldog defense with a trick play that featured wideout Reginald Jackson rushing for a 26-yard touchdown for a 24-6 margin. As the contest came to a close, Jackson made life miserable for the Bulldogs once again with a seven-yard reception from Landers with 6:22 left in the game.
GSU amassed 378 (235 P, 143 R) total offensive yards while AAMU finished well below their normal offensive output with only 147 (117 P, 30 R) yards. Landers threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-32 passing while Jackson had a solid game with nine receptions for 61 yards and three rushes for 30 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Zaire Wilborn led GSU with nine tackles while John Scroggins added two sacks.