Courtesy of Brian Howard, Grambling State Athletics
The Grambling State University football team could not rally in the final quarter as Bethune-Cookman extended its winning streak over the Tigers with a 36-19 victory to open Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play on Saturday afternoon at Daytona Stadium.
Grambling State, which has dropped four straight straight to Bethune-Cookman, trailed 20-19 to open the final quarter, but turnovers and penalties plagued the Tigers in the conference defeat.
Bethune-Cookman (1-2 overall, 1-0 SWAC) got the explosive opening quarter started as Que’Shaun Byrd went 81 yards to set up first down from the GSU 4. Two plays later, Jason Jones completed a pass to Marcus Riley for a 4-yard touchdown as the Wildcats grabbed the quick 7-0 lead with 13:04 remaining.
Grambling State (1-3, 0-1) answered and capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive as Dedrick Talbert scored on a 3-yard run, tying the game at 7 with 8:22 left.
Back came BCU as Darnell Deas returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the score as the Wildcats jumped back out front, 14-7, with 8:18 remaining.
The Tigers responded with a big play as Quaterius Hawkins connected with CJ Russell 61 yards to set up GSU deep in BCU territory. However, the drive stalled as Urban booted a 24-yard field to close the Wildcats lead to 14-10 with 5:53 left.
Bethune-Cookman put together a 13-play, 69-yard drive as Dylan Moghaddam booted a 23-yard field goal to open the second period as the Wildcats extended the lead to 17-10 with 14:55 remaining in the half.
The Tigers answered the BCU scoring drive by as Hawkins connected with Phazion Wilson for his first collegiate touchdown on a 9-yard reception to complete an 8-play, 94-yard drive with 11:29 left in the quarter.
GSU got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff as Rey Estes forced a fumble to give the Tigers good starting position at the BCU 40. However, the GSU drive stalled when Hawkins was picked off in the end zone by Omari Hill-Robinson with 9:27 left.
The Tigers picked up their first safety of the season when Joshua Reedtackled Byrd in the end zone as GSU grabbed a 19-17 advantage with 8:40 remaining.
Bethune-Cookman took a 20-19 lead as Moghaddam drilled a 22-yard field goal, completing an 11-play, 76-yard drive with 3:30 remaining in the third.
Grambling State drove down to the BCU 23 as the drive stalled. Urban’s 39-yard field-goal attempt was blocked as the Wildcats ran back the block to the GSU 43.
The block did not result in any points as Bethune-Cookman was forced to punt the football with 13:49 remaining.
On the next Grambling State possession, the Wildcats got the ball back as Claude Coleman was stripped of the football inside BCU territory.
Bethune-Cookman cashed in the turnover into seven points as the Wildcats marched 56 yards in eight plays with Jones completing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kemari Averett to push the advantage to 27-19 with just over nine minutes remaining.
The Wildcats put the game away with 55 seconds left as Moghaddam booted a 21-yard field goal to give Bethune-Cookman the 30-19 lead.
BCU sealed the game moments later as Hawkins was intercepted for the pick six as Deas went 37 yards for the score with 23.4 seconds remaining as the Wildcats led 36-19.
CHECKING THE BOX SCORE
- Grambling State finished with 441 total yards of offense, with 26 first downs
- The Tigers rushed the ball 36 times for 174 yards
- Quaterius Hawkins went 22 of 43 passing for 287 yards, with two interceptions and one touchdown
- Dedrick Talbert led the ground game with nine carries for 65 yards
- Claude Coleman caught five passes for 40 yards
- Sundiata Anderson led the defense with seven total tackles, including four solo stops, with one sack
- Lane Lewis, Myron Stewart and Wesley Green each recorded six tackles
- Grambling State was whistled for 14 penalties for 107 yards
- Bethune-Cookman finished with 336 total yards of offense, with 14 first downs
- The Wildcats rushed the ball 33 times for 199 yards
- Jalon Jones went 13 of 18 passing for 137 yards, with a pair of touchdowns
- Que’Shaun Bryd rushed the ball 19 times for 162 yards
- Kemari Everett caught five passes for 65 yards, with one score
- Reyan Blake led the defense with eight solo tackles
- The Wildcats committed 12 penalties for 119 yards
NEWS AND NOTES
- Grambling State and Bethune-Cookman met for the 13th time
- The Tigers lead the all-time series 8-5
- Bethune-Cookman extended the losing streak for Grambling State, which moved to four straight after Saturday’s loss
- The Tigers haven’t beaten Bethune-Cookman since 2004 (24-23)
- Grambling State fell to 41-23 all-time in conference openers
- The last GSU conference-opening win came in 2018 (defeated Alabama State, 34-0)
- BCU head coach Terry Sims improved to 3-0 all-time against Grambling State
- Earned, Not Given – Grambling State was without the “G” on the helmet
- Grambling State surrendered a scoring drive on the opening series for the fourth consecutive game
- The Tigers scored on their opening drive for the first time this season
- Garrett Urban has now registered at least one point in the last 12 games, dating back to the 2021 season
- Urban saw his streak of missed kicks end with a block in the fourth quarter. Prior to the miss, Urban hadn’t missed a kick in nearly a year (Oct. 2, 2021 versus Alabama A&M)
- The Tigers were flagged 14 times for 107 total yards
- Grambling State recorded its first safety since the Arkansas-Pine Bluff game last November
- The Tigers finished with 441 total yards of offense, the most this season as the previous mark was 435 against Northwestern State on September 10
- The 26 first downs were the most Grambling State had since the Spring 2021 season (vs. Jackson State on March 6)
Grambling State returns to action in the annual State Fair Classic next Saturday, October 1, as the Tigers take on Prairie View A&M. Kickoff against the Panthers is scheduled for 6 p.m. from the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium and will be streamed live on HBCU GO.