Tigers survive overtime thriller

Grambling State kicker Marc Orozco becomes GSU and SWAC all-time points leader with 328 points.

Grambling State kicker Marc Orozco became GSU and SWAC all-time points leader with 328 points, as the Tigers defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 45-38, at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial stadium, Saturday afternoon on Military/Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

“When I saw the ball go between the uprights, it was one of the best feelings in the world,"” Orozco said. "The SWAC has historic history, so it’s just an honor for me to be a part of it."

A 30-yard field goal by Jamie Gillan gave UAPB a 3-0 lead to end the first quarter. The Tigers registered a season-low 9 total offensive plays for just 1-yard in the opening quarter on Saturday afternoon.

GSU would finally hit the scoreboard in the second quarter, as quarterback Geremy Hickbottom found Dorrell James in the back of the end zone, for a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the Tigers a 7-3 advantage.   

After a Lions touchdown and a GSU blocked extra point the Tigers would go into the half with a 7-9 deficit.

Then GSU got a career-long 74-yard touchdown run just seconds into the third quarter by LaDarrian Ellis-Jones, followed by an Orozco extra point to push the Tigers lead to 14-9.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff would get a 75-yard touchdown run from Taeyler Porter, the longest run the Tigers have allowed this season from the line of scrimmage, as the Lions took a 16-14 lead.

Both teams fought to the end, after a Linwood Banks fumble recovery and touchdown, followed by Orozco kick, GSU took a 35-31 lead with eight minutes remaining in the game.

UAPB Miller had a 5-yard passing touchdown from Skyler Perry to take a 38-35 advantage over the Tigers.

However, Grambling State got an 11-play drive that set up a 20-yard Orozco game tying field goal to set the score at 38-38 apiece at the end of regulation.

The overtime period came down to the final seconds of the game, as Hickbottom completed a 25-yard pass from Darrell Clark for a touchdown for Grambling

to go ahead 45-38.

The Tigers defense came up huge as UAPB had a game tying drive halted by a dropped pass in the end zone, to give the Tigers a SWAC victory.

The win allowed the Tigers to stay alive in the SWAC Championship hunt, as Alcorn State defeat Prairie View A&M.

Up Next

Grambling State looks to keep the momentum going, as the Tigers host Mississippi Valley State Sat. Nov. 3, for Homecoming and Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.