PINE BLUFF, Arkansas — The University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff football team nearly erased a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit but fell to Grambling 39-33 in a Saturday afternoon thriller at Simmons Bank Field.
The contest featured a safety, an interception return for a touchdown, three missed/botched extra points, four lead changes, 10 touchdowns, and 72 points.
Trailing 39-23 with just under eight minutes remaining, the Golden Lions rallied. Driving 65 yards in 10 plays, Harry Ballard III’s 24-yard touchdown catch from Shannon Patrick brought UAPB within six with just over four minutes remaining.
On Grambling’s ensuing possession, Jordan Brown’s first-career interception and 19-yard return gave the Golden Lions possession at the GSU 11-yard line with just over three minutes remaining.
After moving the football to the Tigers’ three-yard line with just over a minute to play, UAPB lost yards on third down and two. On fourth down, Grambling intercepted a pass its’ 12-yard line with 57 seconds to play.
Patrick completed 22 of 35 passes for 291 yards and a career-high-tying four touchdowns, two of them to Ballard who caught a career-best nine passes for 144 yards. DeJuan Miller caught six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Trailing 7-0, UAPB responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive, ending with Patrick’s 17-yard scoring pass to Miller to bring the Golden Lions to within 7-6 with 4:26 to play in the opening quarter.
Following a Grambling score on a safety, UAPB took the football back two plays later as Xavier Mitchell forced and recovered a fumble at the UAPB 43.
On the next play, a 46-yard Patrick-to-Ballard connection led to a score three plays later, as Taeyler Porter scored from a yard out as the Golden Lions took the lead for the first time, 12-9, with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter.
After Grambling (3-4, 1-2) scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions to take a 22-12 lead, the Golden Lions responded prior to halftime. A six-play, 57-yard drive ended with Miller’s leaping 24-yard touchdown reception to cut the UAPB deficit to 22-19 at halftime.
The Golden Lions opened the third quarter with a 15 play, 69-yard drive, converting two third downs and one fourth down. Patrick’s five-yard scoring pass to Ballard put UAPB back in front, 26-22.
Grambling answered with a touchdown drive of its own on the ensuing possession to regain the lead for good, then added 10 fourth-quarter points prior to the UAPB late-game rally.
The Golden Lions return to action next Saturday in a 6 p.m. game at Jackson State.
Courtesy: UAPB Athletics