Fobbs fuming after G-Men routed 48-21; Baseball Tigers sweep TSU

Both Grambling State quarterbacks — Geremy Hickbottom (19 above) and Elijah Walker struggled in Saturday’s home loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Staff Writer

“Embarrassing.”

That was how Grambling football coach Broderick Fobbs described Saturday’s home 48-21 loss to UAPB, leaving the Tigers winless at the midway point of the spring’s six-game schedule.

It reportedly also left the Tigers without another offensive assistant coach. Coordinator Mark Orlando resigned a week earlier in the wake of a 17-10 loss to Prairie View. Kenn Rashad of HBCUSports.com reported Sunday that Fobbs dismissed quarterbacks coach Kendrick Nord, who took over the play calling role for last week.

Reading between the lines of Fobbs’ postgame comments Saturday afternoon, the Nord news is plausible.

“We are a work in progress and there’s a lot of things going on,” said Fobbs. “It’s up to me to make sure I get it corrected. Everything is on the table and everybody is being evaluated.

“We have to be better and play better football. Today we just didn’t do anything right. “It’s not a player deal. It’s all coaches … offensive coaches.”

The Tigers never led, but were within 14-7 at the half. Over the next 18 minutes, UAPB blitzed Grambling by 34-7.

A blocked punt for a score and touchdown passes of 60, 28 and 31 yards were the most damaging plays in the onslaught. It came against a defense that had allowed only one touchdown after halftime in each of the first two games, both one-score defeats.

The stats didn’t look overwhelming (402-368, Golden Lions in total offense) and the Tigers had just two turnovers, an interception and fumble. The Tigers managed only 12 first downs running or passing the ball and sputtered offensively all afternoon at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium, netting 2.6 rushing yards per carry while being sacked five times.

UAPB (2-0) opened the scoring with a 30-yard interception return as new starting quarterback Elijah Walker was victimized on his second snap. He finished 13-26 for 174 yards and a touchdown, while the starter in the first two games, Geremy Hickbottom, went 5-10 for 30 yards and was sacked on three other pass plays.

Keilon Elder ran for 65 yards on 11 carries and threw a 77-yard TD on a halfback pass to Kash Foley.

BASEBALL: A home series with Texas Southern provided a spectacular turn of fortune for previously winless Grambling.The Tigers pulled off a sweep with three one-run triumphs – 5-4 on Friday, 4-3 on Saturday and a 14-13 slugfest Sunday.

Marc Luna struck out 13 visitors Friday, working into the eighth inning. The G-Men got the game-winner when Cameron Phelts, who had scored on an error in the fifth to break a 3-3 tie, did it again in the seventh, beating a throw to the plate in dramatic fashion.

On Saturday, Kerry Boykins Jr. took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning, but Texas Southern rallied and nearly knotted it on the game’s final play. Second baseman Jeremy Almaguer’s relay throw got to catcher Ben Avila, who made a sensational tag on a sliding baserunner to preserve the win.

Sunday, Grambling (3-12, 3-3) opened a 10-4 lead going to the fifth inning, but TSU (4-16) kept pecking away, scoring in each of the first eight innings. The visitors tied it at 10 with a three-run seventh, then moved ahead 13-10 in the eighth.

The home Tigers responded by knotting it in the bottom of the eighth and winning it in walk-off fashion. Jahmoi Percival delivered the game-winner on a one-out single scoring Chrystan Mervilus, who led off with a base hit that was followed by a single from Almaguer.

Photos by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT/LPJ

Grambling State pitcher Marc Luna struck out 13 batters during Friday’s win over Texas Southern.

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