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Grambling wins the Bayou Classic with key turnovers

An interception and fumble will haunt Southern’s memory of this game.

Grambling wins the Bayou Classic with key turnovers

NEW ORLEANS–It was a turnover early and a turnover late that was the difference in Grambling defeating Southern in the Bayou Classic 30-21 in front of 66,500 people.  Ja’Teri Pouncy intercepted Southern’s Austin Howard on the first play of the game and Devante Kincade converted the turnover into a touchdown seven plays later. Martez Carter later scored on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Kincade early in the second quarter to put the Tigers up 14-0.

 

Southern would get a touchdown on the board later in the quarter when the Jaguars put together a 12-play 67-yard drive that was capped off with a one-yard run by Devon Benn.  Grambling took a 17-7 halftime lead after a Marc Orozco 42-yard field goal.

 

The Dancing Dolls (photo by Steven J. Gaither)

The Jaguars would take the lead in the second half after exchanging scores. It began with an Austin Howard 20-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Catalon in the third quarter but Grambling answered with an Orozco field goal early in the fourth to make it 20-14 in favor of the Tigers.  But with just over five minutes to go Howard put the Jaguars on top 21-20, finding Dillon Beard on an eight-yard touchdown.

Martez Carter who had left the game earlier with a rib injury returned to the field and punched in an 11-yard touchdown run to retake the lead at 27-21.  The crowd was ready to see how Southern would respond in the final three minutes but a strip sack fumble by Brandon Varner knocked the ball away from Howard and that sealed the deal.

Another Orozco field goal padded the final score and gave Grambling its 25th consecutive SWAC victory.  More importantly the G-Men now advance to the final SWAC Championship game to face Alcorn State, the winner of that game will face North Carolina A&T in the Celebration Bowl.

 

 

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