By Brian Howard, Grambling State Senior Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Communications
NEW ORLEANS — Garrett Urban booted five field goals, none bigger than his last, as the Grambling State Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak to its rival on Saturday afternoon with a 29-26 victory over Southern in the 48th Annual Bayou Classic at the Caesars Superdome.
Urban, Grambling State’s Most Valuable Player, notched the game-winning field goal with two seconds remaining as the Tigers (4-7 overall, 3-5 Southwestern Athletic Conference) capped a 3 minute, 48 second drive to close out the game.
Grambling State, which ended a three-game road losing streak and a three-game losing streak to Southern, fell behind 3-0 after a Luke Jackson 49-yard field goal with 11:17 left in the opening quarter.
The Tigers answered on their second offensive possession and the very next drive, going 75 yards in nine plays as Elijah Walker scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Grambling State a 7-3 advantage with 7:23 remaining in the opening quarter.
Southern (4-7, 3-5) drove 80 yards in seven plays as Devon Benn punched in a 22-yard touchdown run to give the Jaguars a 10-7 lead with 3:54 left.
Grambling State quickly answered as Urban booted a 39-yard field and a 36-yard field to give the Tigers a 13-10 lead with 5:41 left in the first half.
Jackson’s 45-yard field goal with 2:49 remaining in the second quarter tied the game at 13, but Grambling State finished the half strong as Urban booted his third field goal, a 27-yarder, with five seconds left, second the Tigers into the break with a 16-13 advantage.
Urban’s fourth field, a 27-yard attempt, gave Grambling State a 19-13 lead with 1:53 left in the third quarter and set up an exciting final period.
Ethan Howard caught a 5-yard pass from Ladarius Skelton, Southern’s MVP, as the Jaguars grabbed a 20-19 advantage with 9:56 left.
Back came the Tigers as Greg White caught a 23-yard touchdown strike from Walker, as the Tigers answered and took a 26-20 lead with 6:27 left.
However, Skelton punched in a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:55 remaining. The extra-point attempt by Jackson was no good, as the two were tied at 26.
On the ensuing drive, CJ Russell things going with a 19-yard carry and the Tigers got a 13-yard reception to White as Grambling State got the ball into Southern territory. The Jaguars were forced to call timeout three consecutive times before Urban sealed the game with a 25-yard field goal with two seconds left.