For the second straight season, the Bayou Classic trophy returns to Grambling.
Tigers running back Frank Warren rushed for a career high 166 yards, as Grambling State pummeled the Jaguars of Southern University, 31-13, in Bayou Classic XXXVI.A crowd of 58,618 people were on hand in New Orleans to attend the annual battle of Louisiana’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The Tigers entered the game trailing, 18-17, in the series and looked to even the score in their season finale.
After a slow start on both parts, Grambling opened the scoring on an eight-yard scamper by quarterback Greg Dillon at the 2:44 mark of the first quarter. Ari Johnson’s point-after-touchdown was good.
They pushed their lead to 14-0, with 12:25 remaining in the first half on a 14-yard dash by Kiare Thompson (Johnson, PAT). Grambling was looking to put the game out of reach, but Southern was determined to make the game exciting.
The Jaguars responded to the ensuing drive when Bryant Lee, Southern’s MVP, found Curry Allen on a 31-yard pass and catch (Joshua Duran, PAT) and pulled within 14-13 on a Gary Hollimon three-yard plunge. Duran’s PAT was blocked, and at 4:58 on the clock, that rounded out the scoring for the half.
After going into halftime down one point, Southern did not score the rest of the game.
Grambling dominated the second half.
GSU (7-4 overall, 5-2 in SWAC) added a score in the third quarter on a 13-yard run by Warren (Johnson, PAT) to make the score 24-13.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers added a 24-yard Johnson field goal at the 4:40 mark.
They sealed the win on a one-yard over-the-top dive by Warren (Johnson, PAT) with one minute remaining.
At the end of the game, Grambling had 308 rushing yards for the game.
For Grambling, Warren’s 166 yards came on 24 carries.
Cornelius Walker ran for 57 yards on 11 carries.
Dillon completed 12 of 26 passes for 134 yards, with Thompson recording 49 receiving yards and three receptions.
Christian Anthony, GSU MVP, recorded nine tackles (eight for loss) with two sacks and a forced fumble. It’s Anthony’s third MVP award.
He earned MVP honors against South Carolina State and Jackson State this season.
Even in defeat, Southern quarterback Lee completed 13 of 28 passes for 137 yards with a score.
Running back Bryan Threat had 42-yards on 10 carries, while Allen also had 49-yards on three carries.
Free safety Jason House led all defenders with 11 tackles.