For the second consecutive weekend, the Tiger defense made its presence known as Grambling State held off Langston 13-2 in a defensive battle before 5,121 fans at Robinson Stadium. Last week’s SWAC Specialist of the Week Kiare Thompson put Grambling in position to make some noise early on in the first quarter as the sophomore returned a punt 32 yards to Langston’s 26.Â However, the Tigers went three-and-out on their second drive of the afternoon and had to settle for a 35-yard Luis Leal field goal.Â Â The contest turned into an old fashioned defensive slugfest from that point as the scoring ceased until the second quarter.Â Thompson returned a punt 28 yards to Langston’s 39 and moved into scoring position after Cornelius Walker combined to rush for 14 yards on three carries.Â Unfortunately, the promising drive stalled once again at the 18 which led to Leal connecting on a 34-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead to close out the half.
Offense was hard to come by for both teams as the second half began.Â Both GSU and Langston traded two punts each before LU woke up on its third series of the half.Â On that drive, the Lions marched all the way to the GSU 5 yard line but lost five yards on an illegal substitution penalty.Â With 10 yards left to tie the contest, the Tiger defense stepped up in the redzone for the second straight weekend and forced LU to turn the ball over on downs as quarterback Danny Lowery threw four consecutive incompletions.Â However, the defensive stop was negated in a flash as Langston jumped on the scoreboard with two points after Lionel Pierce sacked quarterback J.P. Tillman in the endzone. The defense forced another three-and-out on the ensuing drive and the offense featured a new look on its next possession as Greg Dillon entered at quarterback.Â On the drive, Dillon and Frank Warren combined to rush for 22 yards to move GSU into the redzone midway through the quarter.Â With the ball on the LU 18 and GSU facing a third down situation, Dillon found a wide open Nick Lewis for a touchdown to break the game open as Leal’s PAT gave GSU a 13-2 margin.
For the game, GSU finished with 173 (125 R, 48 P) total offensive yards to LU’s 175 (103 P, 72 R).Â Walker led GSU with 76 yards on 14 carries while Tillman passed for 24 yards on 7-of-14 passing.Â Lewis topped all wideouts with 34 yards on four receptions and Christian Anthony topped all defenders with five tackles and a pass break-up.
GSU returns to the field next weekend for the annual State Fair Classic match-up against Prairie View A&M at 6 p.m. in the Dallas Cotton Bowl.Â Next week’s battle will begin a string of seven straight conference games for the Tigers.