In the late Eddie G. Robinson’s day, Mississippi Valley State University was always an unfortunate victim of Grambling State’s unprecedented moments. 

In 1970, Robinson won his 200th game against MVSU,  then won his 400th game in 1995 and then won the last game of his career against them in 1997.  

So it would be no surprise if Robinson’s spirit did not hover over the stadium to witness the G-Men break the curse that has stricken them for nearly two years.  

On Saturday, the G-Men defeated MVSU 47-40, their first Division I win since December 2011. 

The Tigers’ success could be summed up in one word “Williams” but that would be misleading. It didn’t come from superstar Doug Williams, the only African American to win a Super Bowl, or his son D.J. Williams, but from the back-up quarterback Jonathan Williams. 

“Johnathan played well,” said interim head coach Dennis Winston. “He did what we asked him to do, he came in, he is a little field general, and one thing about him, he is not afraid of anything,”

Jonathan played exceptionally well in his first start of the season, D.J. Williams was out due to concussion-like symptoms. Jonathan finished with five passing touchdowns and he rushed for two. 

It is evident the Tigers are not as efficient in the second half, coming into the game outscored 134-43. 

However with Jonathan under center, the momentum was different. To start the third, the Delta Devils connected on a touchdown that tightened the score 27-24, but the Tigers swung back harder. 

Jonathan fed two consecutive touchdowns to Velton Hunter and Chad Williams, 24-40, the biggest lead of the game. 

Although the Tiger’s 16-point gap appeared immense, within minutes, the fans’ fists were clenched and hearts were racing as the score got closer.  

Delta Devils quarterback, Patrick Ivy handed the ball off to Jerrell Moore for the 5-yard rocket into the end zone, 32-40. Just like that, the Delta Devils were in striking distance, down only eight points. 

With the encouraging homecoming crowd, trending student section and jamming the World Fame Tiger Marching Band behind them, the Tigers marched 60 yards down the field and J. Williams rushed for 11-yard touchdown, 47-32. 

 “(J. Williams) ran the plays we asked him to run,” said Winston in his second game as the top man.  “(He) executed it with confidence, and I think when you have a field general like that with confidence, everybody else gets confidence.”

J. Williams commanded control of the offense connecting with 10 different receivers on 18 of 30 passing completion for 265 yards.

Nevertheless, the Delta Devils would not submit easily. MVSU tramped down the gridiron and C. Frizzler ran in a 1-yard touchdown, 40-47. 

The Tigers responded by running the clock; they knocked off more than 5 minutes before Jonathan Wallace punted the ball 54 yards for a MVSU touchback. 

The Tiger’s fate laid in the hands’ of their defense. With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, some Tiger fans hoped the game would not lead into another overtime loss like previous game against Texas Southern University, 24-17.  

With victory within reach, the Tigers’ defense sprinted onto the field. With 25 seconds ticking away, the Tigers slapped away the Delta Devils’ potential game-tying touchdown. 

The scoreboard favored the Tigers, 47-40. Many fans rushed the field and some players cried. After an emotional season thus far, the Tigers were able to accomplish something at some times felt impossible: win.