DALLAS, Texas – The Grambling State University football team could not overcome a sluggish first half during the annual State Fair Classic on Saturday night as the Tigers dropped a 34-14 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) decision to Prairie View A&M at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
Grambling State (1-4 overall, 0-2 SWAC) got the ball to begin the game, but a Floyd Chalk IV touchdown on fourth and short was wiped out due to a penalty as the Tigers were forced to punt the football.
Prairie View A&M (3-2, 3-0) went 80 yards in 16 plays as Ja’den Stewart scored on a 2-yard run, capping a 6-plus minute drive to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 4:31 remaining in the opening quarter.
PVAMU added to the advantage with a 26-yard Luis Reyes field goal, giving the Panthers a 10-0 lead with 13:08 remaining in the first half.
After a Grambling State punt, Prairie View A&M went right back to work. The Panthers used more than four minutes off the clock with an 11-play, 56-yard drive as Reyes booted his second field goal of the day, a 37-yarder, as PVAMU extended the advantage to 13-0 with 7:38 remaining in the second quarter.
PVAMU wasn’t done as Ahmad Antoine went 35 yards to the house, capping an 8-play, 68-yard drive as the Panthers pushed the lead to 20-0 with just under two minutes left in the half.
Prairie View A&M’s defense provided the knockout punch in the first 30 minutes as Xavier Watson picked up the scoop and score strip-sack fumble and went 40 yards untouched into the end zone as the Panthers capped the first half with a 27-0 lead.
Grambling State broke into the scoring column as Julian Calvez scored on a 5-yard touchdown keeper to cap a 70-yard, 5-play drive to close the gap to 27-7 with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers forced a turnover and started the drive at the PVAMU 30. GSU put together a 7-play drive as Calvez connected with Noah Bean for a 5-yard touchdown as the Tigers continued to chip away at the deficit, trailing 27-14 with 1:22 left in the period.
Prairie View A&M sealed the game with 5:30 remaining when an Efren Jasso punt bounced off the back end of a Grambling State defender and recovered in the end zone by Jaylen Lane, giving the Panthers a 34-14 lead.
On the next ensuing offensive possession for Grambling State, the Tigers refused to go away quietly as Calvez found a streaking Claude Coleman for 55 yards to set up first down from the PVAMU 20. However, GSU turned the ball over on downs with 4:25 left and Prairie View A&M controlled the final four minutes to pick up the conference win.