Tigers down JSU, record first win of season

Quarterback Geremy Hickbottom passed for two touchdowns in the win over JS. GSU Athletics/Courtesy photo

The Grambling State University Tigers picked up their first win of the year against Jackson State University with a 44-21 win on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The Tigers were able to figure out their offensive schemes to put points on the board while the defense stayed consistent all game. 

Both teams had a quiet first quarter with neither scoring. However, Jackson State held the ball for 11 minutes in the quarter and set themselves up for a touchdown in the early second quarter by JSU running back Jordan Johnson, who was held to just 20 yards on the day by Grambling’s defense. 

The next scoring drive came from Grambling, beginning at their own 23 yard line.

With the help of the no huddle offense the Tigers drove the ball downfield settling for a 27-yard field goal by kicker Miguel Mendez. The four minute drive cut into JSU’s lead 7-3. 

After three more drives of scoreless possessions, Jackson State recovered a fumble by Grambling quarterback Geremy Hickbottom to set themselves up for a 37-yard field goal to increase the gap. However, the defense came up big with a block and score by No. 25 sophomore Devanir Martin for a 70 yard score.

With the score now 10-7 going into halftime, this marked the first time the G-Men led in the game. 

The third quarter began with slow play from both sides, the defenses doing their parts to keep the offenses from scoring.

It was not until midway through the quarter that the Grambling offense drove down the field to tack on another touchdown, this one coming from star receiver Lyndon Rash on a 6 yard pass from Hickbottom. With an extra point tacked on the Tigers took a 17-7 lead 

The Grambling defense forced a three and out on the next Jackson State drive to force a punt. The G-Men offense picked up right from last drive as it took only two yards to add another touchdown, this one coming from running back Kevin Dominique for 59 yards in a drive that took only 29 seconds.

With the score now, 24-7 in favor of Grambling, the Jackson State Tigers were anxious to respond and they did.

Quarterback Derrick Ponder connected on a 52-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ra’Mei Wallace and Jackson State cut the lead to 24-14, finally responding to the 24 unanswered points from Grambling to end the scoring in the third quarter. 

Early in the fourth quarter, the Grambling offense put together another scoring drive on a 10-yard reception from Lyndon Rash, his second touchdown catch of the game.

The offense flexed its strength and took a 31-14 lead. On the very next drive, defensive back Joseph McWilliams intercepted a pass and returned it for 56 yards for a touchdwon.With a miss on the PAT, the score was then 37-14.

The Jackson offense stalled again for another three and out, and on the following Grambling possession, they tacked on an additional touchdown on a 31-yard rush from Dominique, who ended the with a huge game racking up 129 rushing yards.

Jackson scored an additional touchdown on the ensuing drive with a 10-yard pass to receiver Warren Newman, but the score hit 44-21 and remained that to end the game. 

GSU Defensive Coordinator Everett Todd expressed his happiness with the way the defense showed up in the game. 

“I’m excited the way these guys played and the way they came back. Joseph made some big plays tonight and the defense made some big plays,” Todd said.

“So hopefully this will shadow how we played before and keep things rolling.”

The G-Men now prepare for their first home game of the season against a 4-2 Alabama A&M University football team. hoping to keep the momentum from their road victory.  

GSU will take on Alabama A&M at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Eddie Robinson Stadium.