The Grambling State Tigers finished the 2016 regular season with vengeance….Looking to make amends for last season debacle against the defending champs Alcorn State Braves, the G-Men’s game plan was to smash the gas early and often. However, Coach Fred McNair almost pulled a rabbit out his hat. The Braves looked like the championship team early on as the moved the ball up and down the field against the number one defense in the SWAC. QB Lenooris Footman , Norlando Veals and Delance Turner were a three headed combination as the Braves raced out to a 17-0 lead at the break. I really mean , they looked like the dominant team while the Tigers looked defeated in more ways then one.
However as they always say, there are two halves to a football game and the second half seemed to be the one that the G-Men realized we must win. Grambling looked like the team of old as they played with more passion and broke the drought out scoring the Braves 27-3 in second half and hang on to defeat the Braves 27-20. QB DeVante Kincade passes for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Chad Williams caught 6 balls for 103 yards but no scores. RB Martez Carter rushed for 136 yards and 1 Touchdown.
Alcorn had a chance to break open the game in the first half as converted TE Michael Ajumobi dropped two would be touchdowns. The Braves were paced by Lenoois Footman’s 259 yards passing. RB Delance Turner’s 126 yards rushing was tops for the Braves.
With the win Grambling advances to the Celebration Bowl to take on North Carolina Central University at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on December 17.
In 2015 , the Grambling State Tigers seemed to be primed for a trip to Atlanta to participate in the Celebration Bowl. However, the Alcorn State Braves had other plans en-route to a 49-21 shellacking of the G-MEN. The Braves spoiled what was considered Coach Broderick Fobbs year to win it all. Well, the G-MEN are back for redemption and yes, the Alcorn State Braves stand in the way of the Tigers’ path to the promise land of Atlanta and the Celebration Bowl. This is not the same Brave team of the past. Coach Hopson has moved on the bigger things and Fred McNair has replaced him. The Braves have struggled all year and back doored themselves into the SWAC Championship game with a 5-5 record. Grambling on the other hand has ran the table to an 9-1 record with their only loss to Arizona , a game which the Tigers lead 21-0 at half. However, after watching the Tigers chew up on once undefeated Southern 52-30 in the Bayou Classic, looks like Grambling is ready to make a point..I mean a huge point in the rematch with the Braves.
Coach Broderick Fobbs seem to have his guys focused and ready to go. QB DeVante Kincade , MVP of the Bayou Classic leads the team with 2,633 yards passing and 28 Touchdowns. RB Martez Carter has over 1,500 yards of total offense. RB Justin Kelly has 741 yards rushing with 8 touchdowns. WR Chad Williams has caught 80 balls for 1,190 yards with 10 touchdowns. WR Verlan Hunter and Dominque Leak are also weapons the Tigers can count on. Defensively, the G-Men rank number one on team defense in the SWAC. With all the weapons at Fobbs disposal, it might be a one hitter quitter for the G-MEN.
But don’t count out the Braves yet. Many believe that this Brave team is at it’s healthiest all season. With QB Lenooris Footman back to 100%, the Braves are capable of anything. QB Noah Johnson has been playing well of late and both Footman and Johnson can cause havoc as a 2 headed monster. Johnson’s 1,116 yards passing and 11 touchdowns paces the Braves offense. RB De’Lance Turner along with Johnson and Footman can also cause havoc on the ground. WR Jabor. McKenzie and Norlando Veals lead the Braves receiving game with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns between the both of them. The Braves defense isn’t too far behind as the Braves ranked 3rd in total defense. With nothing to lose, I do expect McNair and the Braves to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the Tigers. However, if the G-MEN come in and put the metal to the pedal, it could be a long night for the Braves. Your thoughts?….Stay Tuned……
The Bayou Classic was billed as the game of the century as both Grambling and Southern brought undefeated records into New Orleans. However, only one team seem to want it more. The Tigers jumped on the Jaguars early and often to win 52-30 in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Classic MOP DeVante Kincade played flawless as he 283 yards and 1 Touchdown. RB Martez Cartez, billed as Mr. Excitement put on a show as well. Carter rushed for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Chad Williams caught 10 balls for 89 yards and 1 touch down. It was the Tiger defense that did damage. The Tiger’s limited the Jaguar’s kick off specialist to 0 touches as the Tigers kicked away from him all game long.
Southern’s Lenard Tillery did his damage as usual as he rushed for 234 yards and 1 td. Tillery broke off an 85 td run in the second quarter to bring the Jags within 4 at 17-13 at the break. QB Austin Howard threw for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, the one flaw that came back to hunt the Jags was Howard’s fumble into the end zone which seemed to be a TD but was later called a touch back giving the Tigers the ball at their 20 to start yet another TD drive.
Southern ends it’s magical season at 8-3 and 8-1 in conference play. The G-MEN move to 9-1 and get’s another crack at Alcorn State in Houston for the SWAC Championship and the right to play MEAC’S North Carolina Central University in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.
Rivalries seem to bring out the best in us. Traditions never change. As a young kid growing up in Baton Rouge , I became part of the family in this so called family tradition which includes the Grambling State and Southern University match up taking place in New Orleans. This game is coined the Bayou Classic. I remember as a young boy attending this game with my grandmother MAMA JAG , staying on Friday night in the Hyatt Regency. We attended all the functions which included the annual men’s basketball game between both schools. Back in those days, Grambling State was viewed as the bully while Southern was viewed as the so called pretty boy school. Dating back in the 40’s and 50’s , Southern would get the best of G-Men as a young coach named Eddie Robinson would try to make a name for himself. Southern’s Odie Posey and Grambling’s Tank Younger made the headlines. In the 60’s , Robinson went after size and size he had with Ernie Ladd and Buck Buchanan leading the way. Southern had the speed as Frank Pitts and Mel Blount paced the Jaguars. As integration begin to take whole, the 70’s offered change for many HBCU’s .
Both Grambling and Southern saw a dip in talent as many young black athletes saw opportunity in attending white universities. However some remained and it was enough to produce excitement at both schools. With the brain child of Grambling’s Collie Nicholson, the Bayou Classic was born in the fall of 1973. With crowds busting out the seems, Nicholson approached Southern’s administration about moving the game to a neutral site where everyone could enjoy. First stop, Shreveport’s Independence Stadium where nearly 50,000 attended the match up. The Tigers won 19-14 in that match up. The next year both schools agreed to take their show to New Orleans at the historic Tulane Stadium. The Tigers won that one 21-0. The G-Men dominated the series in the 70’s until 1979 when Southern pulled off a huge upset with a 14-7 victory. The 80’s rolled around and the G-Men got the best of the Jaguars. However, when Southern Athletic Director Marino Casem hired a up and coming Pete Richardson, the tide soon changed. Southern dominated the 90’s winning 9 out of the ten meetings between the teams. Former Tiger star Doug Williams took over as Eddie Robinson retired. Williams brought back some of the dominance as the G-Men split the series at 5 a piece. However , the last 6 years the Tigers and Jaguars have fought to a 3-3 series split.
This year’s game will be history in the making. Both teams currently sit at 7-0 with Southern hosting a 1-8 Mississippi Valley team while the Tigers travel to Houston to take on a 4-6 Texas Southern team . Both Jags and Tigers are expected to win and with that being said, history will be made as both teams come in undefeated playing for not only a birth in the SWAC Championship game , but for tradition as well as for bragging right s the new improve Bayou Classic trophy. History is being made at the Bayou Classic.
As expected, week 10 of college football sort of gave an indication of who will play in post season and who will go home. Within SWAC play, there are at least 3 teams vying for post season while others will stay at home. Prairie View A&M was added to the list as the Panthers fell at home to Southern University 44-34. With that lost, the Panthers guaranteed themselves a holiday vacation at home. Southern on the other hand stayed on course as the Jaguars remained undefeated at 7-0 heading back home to take on lowly Mississippi Valley State. Southern was paced by QB Austin Howard 195 yards passing along with 4 touchdowns. RB Lenard Tillery did his thing rushing for 245 yards. WR Willie Quinn caught 5 balls for 114 yards and 1 touchdown. DL Aron Tiller did his thing as he recorded 13 stops to pace the Jaguars defense. PVAMU was paced by QB Jalen Morton 205 yards passing and 1 TD. WR Darius Floyd caught 10 balls for 134 yards and 1 touchdown.
Grambling State took care of business in Shreveport at the River River Classic blanking a struggling Alabama State team 21-0. QB De Vante Kincaid passed for only 111 yards and 1 touchdown . Back up QB Charles Wright for 115 nad 1 Touchdown also. WR Chad Williams balled out as usual catching 10 balls for 145 yards and 1 touchdown. ASU was paced by RB Khalid Thomas 115 yards rushing.
Alcorn State punched their re turn ticket back to Houston with a 61-7 thrashing of Mississippi Valley State plus a Jackson State loss to Alabama A&M. The Braves were paced by QB Noah Johnson who passed for 285 yards and 7 touchdowns. WR Nolando Veals caught 4 balls for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Braves racked up 583 yards of total offense.
Texas Southern prepped for it’s final game with co-leader Grambling State with a 27-10 victory over lowly UAPB. RB’S Brad Woodard and Tyler Cook rushed for 117 and 101 yards respectively to pace the Tigers.
Well since America has chosen it’s next president, let’s get back to more important things…..SWAC FOOTBALL..Heading into week 10 , there’s a game taking place in Prairie View , Texas that easily could be the game of the week. There’s a lot at stake as the 6-0 Southern Jaguars visit 6-1 Prairie View Panthers in what could make or break one’s season. Southern is currently tied for first with Grambling State. A win over PVAMU would make this years Bayou Classic the SWAC Championship. However a PVAMU win would not only put the Panthers in contention for the SWAC Championship game but also give the Panthers a shot in participating in the FCS playoffs.
Coach Dawson Odums brings his Jaguars to Texas riding a 6 game winning streak. QB Austin Howard has been playing lights out recently. Howard’s 1989 yards passing along with 18 Touchdowns is one of the SWAC’s best. RB Lenard Tillery just recently became the SWAC’S All time leading rusher with nearly 4,000 yards. Tillery is tops in the conference as we speak. WR Willie Quinn has been cool of late. Quinn steal leads the Jaguars with 48 catches for 715 yards and 8 touchdowns. Quinn still is also a special team threat. Other Jaguars that could play important part is TE Dillon Beard and WR Rendall Menard who is just about 90% coming off a hamstring injury. Defensively, the Jags have picked up DC Trei Oliver’s philosophy. DB Danny Johnson leads the league with 6 Interceptions. Southern’s new scheme seems to put pressure up front while making sure no one gets behind the defense.
Coach Willie Simmons has done a great job for the Panthers since coming aboard last season. While QB Trey Green heals, QB Jalen Morton has stepped in and delivered as he has lead the Panthers for 2 straight wins over Jackson State and Alcorn State. Morton’s 740 yatds passing and 7 td’s is second behind Green on the team. Morton will start but Green will be available if needed. RB Staphon Mcray leads a trio of running backs to pace the rushing game. WR Khadel Hodge should be ready to battle. WR DeMarquo Lastrap leads the team with 26 balls and 432 yards receiving and 2 td’s. Defensively, the Panthers are paced by Baylor transfer Terrance Singleton with 64 stops.
Southern knows that this game is very important. A win plus a win at home against a 1-8 Valley team would make the BAYOU CLASSIC a Classic. PVAMU on the other hand needs this win to possible take part in post season. Stay tuned…..
As we head into week 9 of the college football season, things are beginning to shape up as it relates to post season. However, in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, many people are staying true to their hearts with traditions, however one might lose sight of a forgotten gem. Well that gem is Prairie View A&M University Panthers. With all the hoopla surrounding the possibility of a SWAC championship being played at the Bayou Classic between Grambling State and Southern, PVAMU currently sits at 5-1, only a half game behind the leaders in the west. Both G-Men and the Jags still have a lot of football to play. GSU visits Alabama A&M while Southern host Texas Southern this weekend. PVAMU on the other hand has a tough test of hosting upstart and former SWAC champs Alcorn State this Saturday as well. The Panthers know that any slip up could mean the season is done.
Coach Willie Simmons have lived up to his billing as he again has the Panthers on the verge of post season. Last year , PVAMU’s only loss was to Grambling State, which eventually won the west before falling to champ Alcorn State here in Houston. PVAMU petitioned the NCAA for a possibility of participating in the FCS playoffs but fell short of that goal. This year, the Panthers 3 losses are too FBS Texas A&M and Rice along with SWAC foe Grambling as of to date. Coach Simmons knows that the next two weeks means a lot to his program as Alcorn State and Southern University visits Panther Stadium in back to back weeks. The Panthers seem to be on track after a road win at Jackson State.
QB Trey Green has been down due to injury but first year signal caller Jalen Morton has responded well. Morton numbers are 640 yards passing and 5 touch downs. He also has dropped the INT’S down compared to Green’s 10. PVAMU seems to have found a replacement for All SWAC Johnta Hebert as Dewonya Tucker and Staphon Mc Cray have stepped up to rush for nearly 600 yards and 6 TD’S. Caleb Roach also has added another 261 yards and 3 td’s to that number. WR Demarquo Lastra leads a bevy of pass catchers with 24 balls for 416 yards and 2 TD’s.
Defensively, the Panthers have done well keep SWAC foes at bay. Terrance Singleton tops the defense with 58 tackles. As we head into the home stretch of the season, PVAMU looks to have a say so in who represents the SWAC in post season. They aim to slip in the back door with no one expecting the purple gang form Panther land.