Tigers beat Alcorn in OT victory, win 19-16

Kicker Miguel Mendez added the go-ahead field goal in overtime. Jada Stokes/The Gramblinite

In a thriller in The Hole on Senior Night, the Grambling Tigers were able to upset Alcorn State 19-16 in overtime.

With huge defensive games from both teams, the low scoring affair needed more time to bring the game to a close.

The now 6-3 Alcorn Braves went into the game as the heavy favorites, knocking off Grambling in last year’s match-up in Lorman with a score of 33-26.

With a game full of penalties and tension, the unofficial classic game held up to be the all out fight it was hyped up to be.

With their four game win streak on the line, the Tigers (5-4) fought to tack on another victory and improve their standings in the SWAC standings.

First quarter action saw no scoring action from either team, with both sides punting several times.

Alcorn held the ball for over 11 minutes of the quarter and were able to put together a drive setting them up in field goal positions.

As the second quarter began, Alcorn took a 3-0 lead on a 70-yard drive. 

The Tigers responded with their own field goal after their drive started at the 47-yard line.

Kicking from both teams would remain a crucial part throughout the game. Alcorn then struggled to move the ball downfield and began to punt.

The defense was able, however, to stop the punt and linebacker Najee Gordon came up with a blocked punt.

The Tiger offense was able to capitalize off of the turnover, putting together a touchdown drive.

Quarterback Geremy Hickbottom was able to find receiver Dequarius Thomas in the end zone on an 11-yard pass.

With the PAT, the G-Men took the 10-3 lead.

The very next Alcorn drive went in favor of the Tiger defense yet again, this time on an interception by Devanir Martin to give the offense the ball again.

However, the Braves defense forced a quick three-and-out to give their team another chance at adding points to the board.

Taking the chance to add more points, the Alcorn offense put together a 75-yard drive in just seven plays, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 10-10.

The score remained the same as the teams headed back to the locker rooms for halftime, both sides with several places for improvement.

When play resumed for the third quarter, the G-Men held the ball first, yet couldn’t capitalized and punted the ball away.

With good field position, the Braves were able to set up their kicker for a 40 yard field goal to take a 13-10 lead.

As the Tigers attempted to put together a similar drive kicker Miguel Mendez missed a field goal and the score remained the same.

Just as Alcorn put together a decent drive, another pass was intercepted, this time by defensive back Xavier Lodge.

Grambling mounted a solid drive after being backed up to the 10-yard line due to a penalty, but once they got to midfield, the entire game changed.

Hickbottom threw another interception and following the defensive return, he was ejected from the game for actions after the play ended.

Alcorn used the turnover as momentum and marched downfield to tack on three additional points on a 41-yard field goal, kicker Corey McCullough showing off his leg once again.

With Hickbottom out of the game, the ball was handed to back-up quarterback Charles Wright to try to help bring his deflated team back from being down. Unable to produce, the drive ended in a punt and Alcorn held the ball once again as the third quarter came to an end.

The early part of the quarter resulted in punts back and forth by both teams, neither able to gain enough yardage to score again. 

After an interception by Wright, hope was fading. The G-Men defense, however, continued to fight and forced another punt to give their offense another chance to potentially convert. 

With little time left on the clock, the Tiger offense put together a touchdown drive as the ball was placed in the end zone for receiver Kobe’ Ross. In shocking fashion, the PAT was missed and the score remained 16-16. Feeling the urgency of the clock, the Braves marched downfield to give their kicker a shot to end the game on a 47-yard attempt that he missed and the score remained for the end of regulation.

The Tigers possessed the ball first and were able to set up for a 45-yard field goal. Redeeming himself for the two earlier missed kicks, Mendez was able to score and put the G-Men in front.

The Braves received the ball and were able to stitch together a solid drive, giving McCullough a chance to tie the game up again. 

Shockingly enough, the consistent kicker missed the field goal from 33 yards out, giving the Tigers the victory.

The Tigers next take on Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Itta Bena, Miss.