Week 5: Grambling State comeback beats Prairie View A&M
Top performances by QBs and running backs highlight weekend games
Devante Kincade and his Grambling State teammates found themselves in a 16-0 hole midway through the first quarter of the Texas State Fair Classic.
But after being sacked for a safety on the Grambling Tigers’ opening possession and the defense giving up two successive touchdown drives, the Grambling State offense and defense finally ended the mistakes and started clicking.
Kincade initially pulled the team out of the ditch with a touchdown throw to Chad Williams in the first quarter and a ran for a touchdown in the second to make it 16-14, Prairie View A&M.
Then the Tigers went off for 22 unanswered points, with Kincade contributing 207 through the air, 90 yards on ground and three touchdowns overall in Grambling State’s 36-16 win at the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers have now handed the Prairie View A&M Panthers three straight losses in the State Fair Classic.
“It has a lot to do with that ball club over there. You can’t take anything from them,” Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs said. “They do an extremely good job of coaching. They have really good players … but I’m very, very pleased with our coaching staff, as well. They did a good job of putting a plan together and getting the kids in the right place so we can be successful.”
Grambling State (4-1, 3-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) started the game with a miscue contributing to the early hole it found itself in.
On the opening kickoff, the returner caught the ball near the sideline with enough space to shift gears and move up field, but instead opted to go out of bounds. It wasn’t that he ran to the sideline and his momentum carried him out, but more that he saw the landscape and decided his best option was just to step out.
A few plays later, that poor field position – within the Tigers 10-yard line – led to Kincade scrambling backward and ultimately being sacked in the end zone for a Prairie View A&M safety.
On the ensuing Panthers drive, Demarquo Lastrappe broke free in the secondary and hauled in a 50-yard pass from Trey Lee to put the Panthers (3-2, 3-1) ahead 9-0. The Tigers responded with a 75-yard drive that stalled in the red zone, and then missed a 23-yard field goal attempt.
The Panthers converted that defensive stand into another touchdown. The team marched right back down the field, and running back Dawonya Tucker bounced off and picked his way through the Grambling State defense for a 32-yard power run to the house.
Both teams traded a pair of fumbles that they recovered within two minutes of each other. Kincade coughed the ball up when he got sandwiched between two defenders, but his receiver was able to pick it up. The Panthers’ punt return man tried to catch the ball on the run and muffed it. After a quick scrum, Prairie View A&M retained possession on its 17.
“[Coach Fobbs] told us we had to come out and play Grambling football,” Kincade said. “Stop turning the ball over. Stop giving our opponents extra points and turning over the ball in the red zone. So we came out, we corrected mistakes, and we started rolling.”
Near-disaster was avoided only moments later for the Panthers when the referees ruled a catch turned fumble incomplete. Disaster actually hit when the punt snap went over the punter’s head and out of the end zone.
With 2:26 left in the half, both teams had 16 apiece. Grambling running back Jestin Kelly came alive in the second half, rushing for two touchdowns and 117 yards.
The Tigers nearly doubled the Panthers in total yards, collecting 503 to Prairie View’s 289. Grambling also had 31 first downs in the game.
“We were able to run the ball, and the run set up the pass,” Kincade said. “We usually throw the ball to set up the run, but the O-lineman just was hungry. Everybody said we couldn’t run.”
TOP HBCU PERFORMANCES
- North Carolina A&T’s brilliant running back Tarik Cohen had another spectacular performance, running for 256 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the Aggies’ 31-9 win over Hampton. Cohen had a 94-yard touchdown run, which is the longest run from scrimmage in team history.
- Hampton wide receiver Rashawn Proctor had 12 catches for 188 yards in a losing effort to North Carolina A&T.
- Florida A&M cornerback Jacques Bryant had a key interception to help the Rattlers edge Savannah State, 19-14. Bryant led the team with eight total and six solo tackles.
- Howard running back Anthony Philyaw had 22 carries for 115 yards and one touchdown topping Norfolk State, 33-28, for its first win of the season. The victory also ended a seven-game losing streak going back to last season.
- Norfolk State quarterback Greg Hankerson had a sensational day throwing the football in the loss to Howard. Hankerson completed 25 of 35 passes for 366 yards and two touchdowns.
- Alabama State running back Khalid Thomas ran for 143 yards on 22 carries to give the Hornets a 41-21 victory over the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This was Alabama State’s first win of the season.
- North Carolina Central running back Ramone Simpson gained 116 yards on 19 attempts and one touchdown in the Eagles’ 31-14 win over Bethune-Cookman. Simpson averaged 6.1 yards a carry.
- Texas Southern free safety Archie Rice had 14 total and eight solo tackles to lead the Tigers to a 34-31 win over Alabama A&M.
- Bowie State sophomore quarterback Amir Hall was 29 of 51 for 422 yards and one touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 37-3 win over Fayetteville State.
- Winston-Salem State running back Kerrion Moore had nine carries for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the Rams’ 51-10 win over Lincoln University (Pennsylvania).
- Tuskegee University senior quarterback Kevin Lacey threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns in a huge 21-16 win over University of North Carolina-Pembroke. The Golden Tigers (5-0) are ranked No. 11 in the among Division II schools.
- Tennessee State quarterback Ronald Butler put together a great passing attack in the Tigers’ 34-20 victory over the University of Tennessee-Martin. Butler was 17 of 24 for 223 yards and three touchdowns. Tennessee State (4-0 overall, 1-0 Ohio Valley Conference) could be a team to watch in the Ohio Valley Conference.
NOTES: Miles College recently announced that this season’s last regular season game against Tuskegee University will be moved from its on-campus site to Legion Field to accommodate the anticipated crowd. Legion Field is where the Magic City Classic is held between Alabama State and Alabama A&M each year.
The game will be played Nov. 5. The kickoff is be set for 5 p.m. The contest was held in Tuskegee a year ago before a crowd of 28,765. The Albert J. Sloan Stadium at Miles holds just 8,500 while Legion Field can seat 71,594.
Donald Hunt contributed to this report.