No defense no problem for Red River as they dissected Grambling Lab secondary in route to a 41-0 win in Fridays season opener.
The Bulldogs offense set the tone on the third play of game when Travis Gray stepped up into to the pocket and connected with Shacoby Perkins on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
“We need to work on defense,” Grambling Lab coach Johnny Thomas said. “I actually thought our defense was going to be our strong point. We need to work with our defensive backs, they were caught looking in the backfield too much. They were looking at the quarterback scrambling and watching him and the receivers got behind them. That’s one thing we have to stop.”
“The defensive backs getting beat is the hard part to digest. In practice it seemed like it was going good. We had them in practice actually checking with the receiver making sure they were stride for stride with the receiver running down the field. Come game night we didn’t do it,” Thomas added.
Gray started the Bulldogs (1-0) second drive with a 15- yard completion to Perkins. Gray then threw a 25-yard bubble screen to Dahndre Washington who, darted down the sideline-reversing field dodging four Kittens (0-1) defenders.
Facing fourth and 20, Perkins got behind the Kittens secondary and caught a 37-yard touchdown pass, for the second score of the first quarter.
Grambling Lab Jerome Hudson carried the workload for the Kittens running in-between the tackles.
Trailing 12-0 Hudson took an eight-yard handoff around the left edge for a first down giving the Kittens life.
On first down Hudson then put his head down for a gain of two yards. On the next play Hudson was stopped for no gain. With eight defenders in the tackle box Shawn Brantley over threw Archie Amos streaking down the sideline.
“One play we get a first down or we gain five yards,” Thomas said. Then we get 10 yards in penalties, all we can do is practice hard and correct the mistakes. Jerome Hudson ran the ball pretty well but we need to have the whole team do it not just one player.“
The Kittens defense stepped up and slowed down the Bulldogs offensive momentum forcing a turnover on down with 9:38 left in the second quarter.
The Kittens feed of the momentum when Amos caught a 15-yard pass to move the chains on third down. But the momentum was short lived when the Kittens received a false start penalty on first down. On second down Brantley pass was incomplete intended for Amos. On third down Brantley was sacked looking for Amos who fell down running his route.
Red River on a short field took advantage; Demontae Maloney rushed around the right edge untouched for a 20-yard touchdown run. The Bulldog two-point conversion was good pushing the score to 20-0.
With 4:00 left till halftime Grambling Lab offensive went on the attack switching to a passing attack. Unfortunately, Tavares Whitehurst intercepted a Brantley pass intended for Amos for a defensive touchdown. Red River led 27-0 at halftime.
Going into next week we need to work the same way we been working, we just have to execute said Thomas.
The Bulldogs in the second half keep the momentum scoring twice and stopping the Kittens offense.