Grambling wins battle of Tigers

One quick touchdown at the end of the first quarter and another at start of the second quarter settled the nerves of the Grambling State University Tigers in a win over Jackson State University Saturday (Oct. 3).

Senior Johnathan Williams threw five touchdowns and an improving GSU defense held on to outlast the JSU Tigers 59-27. GSU extended its winning streak to 3 games, scoring over 50 points for the third time this season.  

KEION HAYES/The Gramblinite Chester Rogers (No. 80) makes a Jackson State defender fall.

KEION HAYES/The Gramblinite
Chester Rogers (No. 80) makes a Jackson State defender fall.

Williams followed up his best career game against Prairie View A&M University with a solid performance in Jackson. GSU (3-2, 3-0 SWAC) overcame a slow start to surge ahead 14-0 behind Williams, who was 20 of 36 for 327 yards and one interception.  

“I thought besides the first two series our offense played a lot better,” said Broderick Fobbs Grambling State’s head football coach. “We played a lot better in the second, third and going into the fourth quarter. I think our running game is really starting to come along and we’re doing a much better job of playing.”

JSU (1-4, 1-2 SWAC) was coming off of its first and only win season 34-30 over Texas Southern University, featuring three La Monitez Ivy touchdown passes. He threw three more in the GSU game, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the GSU offense. Ivy was sacked five times and threw two interceptions. He finished 40 of 58 for 490 yards. JSU reached the end zone once in the second half.

Trailing 14-0, Ivy escaped pressure twice on third downs to keep JSU drive moving.  Receiver Devin Fosselman came up big, catching a 15-yard pass from Ivy and a 26-yard pass from Ivy. Dan Williams then caught a slip screen pass for a 22-yard touchdown.

GSU quickly responded with a 3-play, 19-second drive finished with a Chris Bazile 54-yard touchdown catch. Tigers led 21-7 with 11:09 left in the first half.

Feeling the pressure to score, Ivy kept JSU alive with two first down passes, one to tight end Jabri Payton for 15 yards and another to fullback Stedmon Capler for 10 yards. On a quarterback  keeper, Ivy had a 22-yard touchdown run.

GSU led 28-20 at halftime. Williams found wide receiver Ka’Jandre Domino for a 9-yard touchdown pass after faking a handoff to Martez Carter.

GSU had 219 passing yards at halftime and 253 yards of total offense. Despite having 274 passing yards and 304 yards off total offense, JSU hurt themselves with six penalties for 53 yards in the first half.

A main point of emphasis for GSU was limiting the JSU passing game and scoring. The GSU defense allowed over 50 points in three out of five games, but the G-men defense shut out JSU in the first and fourth quarters. 

The G-Men will take on Alabama A&M University Bulldogs Saturday Oct 10 at 3 p.m. at the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium in Grambling, Louisiana.