Blocked PAT in overtime lifts Grambling over Alcorn

Published 10:39 pm Saturday, October 17, 2015

LORMAN — Normally the fifth quarter is reserved for the bands to showcase their musical selections, but everyone in attendance at Spinks-Casem Stadium was on their feet for the final minutes of regulation and overtime to see if Alcorn or Grambling would come out victorious.

Grambling forced the extra period after they shut out Alcorn in the second half and put up 14 points to tie the game at 28. It would eventually be the Braves’ inability to kick the extra point after touchdown that gave Grambling the win.

Grambling blocked the tying extra point after Alcorn quarterback John Gibbs scored on a 6-yard run in overtime, allowing the Tigers to escape with a 35-34 victory.

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“I thought that was the best ball club we faced all year,” said Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs. “They really forced us to do some things that were out of character for us. I’m just elated that our kids continued to fight and we were finally able to get some stops and come away with the victory.”

The Braves’ final drive in regulation ended on third down, 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Alcorn quarterback John Gibbs Jr. was feeling the pressure from the Tigers’ defense and threw the ball away before being tackled by D’Angelo Buter-Gatson. Gibbs was flagged for intentional grounding on the play, but time expired anyway.

Grambling got the ball first in the overtime period. A 17-yard run by Chester Rogers took the ball to the 5-yard line and Martez Carter scored on the next play. The extra point made it 35-28, and turned out to be the difference in the game.

Carter ended the game with 132 rushing yards on nine carries. Tigers quarterback Johnathan Williams had 53 rushing yards and threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-24 passing.

“Just for us to get it to overtime, that says a lot about those kids. They could’ve hung their heads. I’m just happy for them because they’re understanding what winning is about,” Fobbs said.

On their overtime possession, the Braves converted twice on third down, on a rush from Gibbs and a defensive pass interference call. Gibbs scored Alcorn’s final touchdown on a 6-yard run before Grambling prevented the extra point.

The final kick in overtime to extend the game another series wasn’t the first time the Braves were let down on special teams.

On their opening drive in the fourth quarter, the Braves missed a 33-yard field goal but were bailed out on a roughing the kicker call that gave them a fresh set of downs at Grambling’s 8-yard line. However, the drive ended after Darryan Ragsdale was stopped in his tracks, turning the ball over on another fourth down rushing attempt.

“I thought they did a good job,” said Braves coach Jay Hopson. “I thought we did some good things at times and moved the ball well, but give them credit. They played well, they played hard and are 5-0 in the conference for a reason.”

Up next

Alcorn State at Southern University

Saturday, Oct. 31, 4 p.m.

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