JONESBORO, Ark. – The Grambling State University football team fell behind early in the season opener and could not recover as Arkansas State ran away with a 58-3 victory on Saturday night at Centennial Bank Stadium.
Arkansas State (1-0) took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards in nine plays. The Red Wolves began their drive with a 17-yard run by Brian Snead and picked up a fourth-and-short at the GSU 30. Just two plays after converting the fourth-down play, ASU quarterback James Blackmon completed a 29-yard pass to Champ Flemings for the opening scoring of the game and giving the Red Wolves a 7-0 lead.
Grambling State (0-1) slowly moved the ball on its first drive, but a holding penalty caused the drive to stall as the Tigers were forced to punt the football.
The Red Wolves took advantage of a short field as Blackmon hit Flemings for 16 yards on the first play. Five plays later, Arkansas State extended the lead to 14-0 with 6:19 remaining in the opening quarter as Blackmond tossed a 13-yard pass to Seydou Traore to complete a five-play, 50-yard drive.
After a Jimmy Iles punt after GSU’s second possession, Arkansas State set up shop at its own 45. The Red Wolves continued to move the football, but were stopped at the Tigers 2 by Joshua Reed on fourth down, turning the ball over to Grambling State with 54 seconds left in the quarter.
Grambling State started its drive at its own 2, but Chance Aime was sacked in the endzone by John Mincey for a safety as the Red Wolves pushed the lead to 16-0 with 51 seconds remaining.
The Red Wolves extended the advantage to 23-0 after a five-play, 48-yard drive as Snead scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 13:23 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Maurice Washington returned the kick 53 yards to give Grambling State its best field position of the night at the Arkansas State 45. However, GSU quarterback Quaterius Hawkins was sacked for a 15-yard loss as the Tigers were forced to punt the ball.
The Red Wolves drove 88 yards in nine plays, helped by a pair of targeting calls, as Blackmon scored on a 9-yard touchdown run as Arkansas State led 30-0 with 7:48 remaining in the second period.
Grambling State got some momentum going on its next drive as Hawkins connected with Chance Williams for a 34-yard gain and into Arkansas State territory at the 48. However, Hawkins was sacked on third down. On fourth down, Hawkins hit JR Waters for a 9-yard gain and a first down. Hawkins called his own number for an 18-yard keeper, setting up first down at the ASU 21. Hawkins was sacked for a 22-yard loss and Julian Calvez was sacked for eight yards as the Tigers were forced to punt the football from their own 48.
Arkansas State put the game away as Blackmon scored on a 2-yard keeper to complete a nine-play, 64-yard drive as the Red Wolves extended the lead to 37-0 with 10:13 left in the third.
Grambling State took advantage of a pair of roughing the passer calls and a late hit on its next offensive possession as the Tigers capped a 63-yard, 13-play drive as Garrett Urban booted a 30-yard field goal, cutting the margin to 37-3, with 5:20 remaining in the third.
Arkansas State got 2-yard touchdown runs by Johnnie Lang and AJ Mayer to extend the Red Wolves advantage to 51-3 right before the end of the third quarter.
The Red Wolves continued to put points on the board, adding a touchdown by Mike Sharpe II with 11:43 remaining to push the lead to 58-3.
Courtesy: Grambling State Athletics