Tigers finish strong in SWAC win

By T. Scott Boatright

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Strong to the finish.

That’s exactly what the Grambling State Tigers were Friday night after overcoming a slow start to roar to a 43-14 over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Simmons Bank Field.

It was the Golden Lions that roared first, taking the opening kickoff and driving to a 7-0 advantage only 3:04 into the contest.

But Grambling countered with 22 unanswered points before holding off a late UAPB rally attempt to race away with the win.

After Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s opening score, the G-Men responded with a 50-yard wide receiver screen for a score from Myles Crawley to Javon Robinson, who hit the afterburners to speed though the UAPB secondary to tie the game at 7-7 at the  6:18 mark of the opening stanza.

Grambling moved out on top 13-7 with 11:01 left in the first half as Crawley connected with Antonio Jones on a scoring strike. But the extra point kick attempt failed to leave the Tigers up by only six points.

Moments later the Tigers recorded a safety to push their lead to 15-7.

On the ensuing drive Grambling running back Floyd Chalk IV looked like he would be stuffed for a loss. But Chalk stopped on a dime, hesitated to allow blocking lanes to open up, and then reversed his course on a 31-yard scoring scamper that put GSU on top 22-7 with 9:32 left in the second quarter.

Grambling pushed its lead to 29-14 before the Golden Lions tried to battle back, cutting the Tigers’ advantage to 29-14 with 3:25 left in the third quarter.

The Golden Lions appeared to be driving for another score before a Donald Lee interception gave the ball back to the Tigers on the UAPB 16-yard line with 6:16 remaining.

GSU quarterback Myles Crawley, a pocket passer, sealed the deal for a G-Men with a 21-yard untouched scoring scamper to the left to stretch the Grambling lead to 36-24 with 6:04 remaining before senior running back Dedrick Talbert put the icing on the cake with a 2-yard TD run with 58 seconds left on the clock.

Crawley finished with three touchdown passes with 198 aerial years while connecting on 18-28 of attempts.

Chance Williams led GSU’s rushing attack with 97 yards on 11 carries while Chalk added 56 yards and his score on six attempts.

Linebacker Lewis Matthews dominated Grambling’s defensive effort with 12 tackles and an interception returned for 24 yards. 

Next up for the G-Men (5-5 overall, 4-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s West Division) will be the Bayou Classic in New Orleans against Southern University on Nov. 25.