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College football: Grambling State picks up first win

by Russell Hedges

By Curtis Ford, Grambling State Assistant AD for Athletic Communications; featured photo by Marcus Plummer

GRAMBLING — The Grambling State University football wanted to rebound in a big way on Saturday afternoon, and that’s exactly what happened, as the Tigers rolled past Florida Memorial 58-22 at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

GSU (1-2) used a balanced offensive attack and timely takeaways to dispose of FMU (1-2). Offensively, the Tigers gained 403 total yards while forcing five turnovers, including an interception returned for a score. 

Starting QB Myles Crawley threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-27 passing to pace the Tigers’ air attack. GSU shared the wealth in the ground game, rolling up 183 yards with three touchdowns. Keilon Elder led the G-Men running backs with 62 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Chance Williams, Floyd Chalk, Dajon Richard all had strong performances on Saturday afternoon. Chalk churned out 61 yards and touchdown. Richard tacked on a score with 47 yards on two touches and Williams hustled for 46 yards on 11 attempts. 

On the defensive side of the ball, preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) selection Lewis Matthews was a disruptive force all afternoon, racking up a game-high 11 tackles with an interception returned for a touchdown. 

Although the GSU defense surrendered 443 yards of offense, The Tigers took advantage of sloppy ball handling from the Lions. 

After forcing a GSU turnover on downs on the Tigers’ first drive of the day, Florida Memorial drew first blood on a 23-yard field goal by Serge Champagne with 4:37 left in the first quarter. 

Grambling State easily marched down the field on the ensuing drive. Javon Robinson caught his first his first career touchdown reception, snagging a pass across the middle and slicing through the defense for 21-yard TD, giving the Tigers a 7-3 advantage with 1:34 remaining in the opening period.  

Keilon Elder stretched the lead to 14-3 with a 4-yard gallop with 10:56 to go in the first half. The Tigers’ Jaden Hardyhelped GSU tack on two more points when he burst through line to wrangle FMU’s Quino Mauricette in the end zone for a safety at the 10:39 mark.

Grambling State carried a 23-9 lead going into halftime. 

Holding a 30-16 lead with 8:26 to go in the third quarter, GSU got one of the most exciting plays of the day when freshman wide receiver Tylon Williamsturned a pass from Crawley into a 67-yard touchdown after squeezing by a gang of Lions and tight-roping the sideline for the score. 

Quarterback Julian Calvez wrapped up the scoring for GSU with 6:28 to play in the fourth quarter with a 9-yard scamper into the end zone. 

Florida Memorial registered 443 yards of offense with 233 coming from the running game. Walter Wilbon was the star for the Lions, rushing for 143 yards and a score on 17 carries. 

FMU starting QB Cedquan Smith was 5-of-17 for 147 yards with a touchdown and an interception. 

MORE FROM THE BOX SCORE

  • Grambling State racked up 403 yards of total offense.
  • GSU picked up 18 first downs.
  • The Tigers were perfect in the red zone, scoring on all six trips.
  • GSU committed 10 penalties for 78 yards.
  • Tylon Williams led the Grambling State receiving corps with three receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown.
  • Jimmy Iles punted the ball four times for an average of 37.8 yards per punt. He had a long of 50 yards and placed two inside the 20-yard line.
  • Lewis Matthews led the defense with 11 total tackles with a pick six. 
  • The GSU defense forced five turnovers. Trent Henry and Matthews both registered interceptions. Lane Lewis forced a fumble. 
  • Florida Memorial registered 22 first downs.
  • The Lions gained 443 yards of offense.  
  • Five FMU receivers logged two catches apiece.

UP NEXT
Grambling State welcomes Texas Southern to town for a SWAC showdown on Saturday, September 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on HBCU Go. 

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