The Grambling State University football team came close to their first victory of the season Saturday night, but lost by a small margin.
With a final score of 23-20, it remained anyone’s game down to the final seconds.
The Alabama State University Hornets proved to be too much for the now 0-3 GSU football team.
This game was the first win for the Hornets in the last five years, recovering from last seasons 34-0 thrashing by the Tigers.
This marked the first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) game for GSU, and concluded as their third straight loss, leaving them with Mississippi Valley State and Texas Southern University as the only winless SWAC teams.
The match-up highlighted improvements from GSU on both sides of the football.
Although it resulted in a loss, the G-Men held their opponent to the lowest margin of victory this season with a point differential of just three.
ASU began the game with a field-goal and held the lead most of the first quarter until a six-yard rush by 200-pound powerhouse running back, Keilon Elder, setting the Tigers up 7-3.
Next score came in the second quarter when the Hornets scored on a four-yard touchdown by Jacory Merritt.
The G-Men responded with a 21-yard field goal by kicker Garrett Urban to tie the game at 10-10 heading into the half.
The third quarter opened similarly to the end of the half with a field goal from Urban, however, the Hornets responded quickly with a 23-yard touchdown by receiver Jeremiah Hixon to take a 17-13 lead.
The quarter ended with a Tiger touchdown by Lyndon Rash to give the Tigers the lead heading into the final quarter.
In the final period, ASU added a rushing touchdown from quarterback Kha’Darris Davis, but had the extra point blocked by freshman defensive back Xavier Lodge to keep the game within a one score game.
Nevertheless, the G-Men were unable to add any more points to the stat line and fell just short of the Hornets, who held the ball for 11 minutes of the last quarter.
Quarterback Geremy Hickbottom finished with 184 passing yards and 70 rushing yards, continuing to use his scrambling ability to stretch plays and drives by averaging six yards a rush in the game.
Running back Jakarie Nichols piled on 91-yards on the ground and led the team in rushing yards to earn a solid 241-yard for the team against a 77-yard poor rushing performance by ASU.
Head Coach Broderick Fobbs, though dissatisfied with the games outcome, used this game as motivation.
“I believe times like these reveal character,” Fobbs said.
“I think it also builds character when you experience it so, I think it is good for us. It is good for us to see that, good for us to go through it, but it is time for us to come out of it.”
The Tigers will head into their next match-up against the 1-3 Prairie View A&M, who narrowly lost to last year defending SWAC champions Alcorn State.
The G-Men will prepare for a trip to Dallas, Texas to face off in the State Fair Classic game.