LORMAN, Miss. | Geremy Hickbottom made his third career start at quarterback as the Grambling State football (3-4 overall) team fell short to Alcorn State (5-2 overall) 23-16, Saturday afternoon in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play at Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium.
The Tigers came out with a strong first quarter performance, reaching the scoreboard first after an 11-play 75 yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Johntavious Robinson followed by a Marc Orozco extra point to set the score at 7-0.
After forcing the SWAC leading Braves offensive into consecutive punts, the Tigers offensive would hit the board once again. Grambling got a 5-play 44-yard drive and a 9-play 38-yard drive that ended with two Orozco field goals to extend GSU lead to 13-0 with minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The number one offense in the SWAC would soon catch rhythm, as the Braves would respond with a 4-play 30 yard drive, capped off by 12-yard De’Shawn Waller rushing touchdown to cut the Tigers deficit to 13-7.
After a stop by the Braves defensive, an 11-play 55 yard drive that ended with a successful 26-yard field goal by Corey McCullough would cut the Tigers lead to 13-10.
The Braves would get a late 9-yard touchdown pass from Noah Johnson to Chris Blair to take the lead 16-13. The ensuing possession Hickbottom would be intercepted by Javen Morrison who returned it 34-yards for a Braves touchdown to extend their lead to 22-13 going into the half.
Grambling State would come out fighting in the second half moving the ball offensively. After, an Orozco 52-yard field goal and 24-yard rushing touchdown by Hickbottom GSU would tie the game at 23-23 going into the final period.
The final quarter was a defensive chess match between head coaches as the two teams would exchange field goals bringing the score in the final 4:00 of the game to 26-26.
After both teams failed to score the Braves got a 5-play 26-yard drive to end with a 1-yard Johnson pass to Blair to give the Braves a 33-26 lead over the Tigers in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
Grambling State will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sat. Oct. 27, on Military Appreciation/Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.