ITTA BENA – All season long, Mississippi Valley State’s offense has showed small samples of what it can do.
On Saturday, the Delta Devils pulled out all the stops in a 45-21 rout over Grambling State. It marked the first win over the winless Tigers (0-6, 0-5 SWAC) since 1996. Using 406 total yards, MVSU (2-4, 2-2 SWAC) scored its most points since 2009.
“We came out today and had some big plays on the offensive side of the ball (and) on special teams,” said MVSU head coach Karl Morgan.
MVSU sophomore receiver Julian Stafford had a career-night with seven catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns along with an 88-yard kickoff return for a score. He finished the day with 263 all-purpose yards.
Stafford, a Memphis native, said it was only a matter of time before the offense found its gear.
“The offense,” Stafford said, “we know we can be explosive. Just now that we’ve open up the offense we feel more comfortable.”
Morgan said he was impressed with Stafford’s performance.
“He’s a guy with a lot of talent and potential,” said Morgan. “And he’s had it since he’s been here. So we decided to get the ball to him.”
MVSU rushed for 185 yards and threw for a season-high 221 yards. Valley quarterback Garrick Jones, who split time with senior Marcus Randle, rushed for two second quarter scores –a 70 and 43-yard scamper. The first touchdown gave the Delta Devils a 10-0 lead and the final one from 43 yards out put Valley up 17-0 at halftime.
Grambling didn’t get on the scoreboard until 10:22 left in the third quarter using a 3-yard TD run Cedric Skinner that made it 17-7. But the Delta Devils answered back with three third quarter touchdowns. Randle connected on two passing scores, a 65-yard strike and a 34-yarder to Brandon Stansell. Stafford also ran back an 88-yard kickoff with 3:33 remaining in the third to give the Delta Devils a 38-14 advantage.
Stafford also scored the Delta Devils’ final touchdown on a 51-yard bomb from Randle.
Randle finished the night 7-of-12 for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Jones went 4-of-6 for 54 yards and an interception while rushing for 100 yards and two scores.
Cortez Frizell had 59 yards on six carries for Valley while Trey Bateaste put on 23 yards on seven attempts.
Grambling’s D.J. Williams was limited to 150 passing yards on 12-of-25 attempts with an interception. Jeremy Alexander led the Tigers with 99 yards on eight catches.
Carlos Hollis picked up his second interception on the year for the Delta Devils. Keven Woods and Robert Simpson each had a sack for Valley.