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Panthers defeat the Tigers, again

Diane Xavier | 10/14/2013, 10:40 a.m.
Jason Lovelocke runs for a touchdown as Pairie View continues to dominate the clash between the big cats during the State Fair Classic on Satuday. Paul Malbrough

The Dallas Examiner

For the third straight year, the Prairie View A&M Panthers defeated the Grambling State Tigers in the annual Southwest Airlines State Fair Classic held in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park on Saturday.

The Panthers dominated the game winning 31-3 despite the rain and cold weather.

Panthers Head Coach Heishma Northern noted how important this win was to his team.

“It’s big for us to beat Grambling three times in a row,” Northern said.

The game marked 31 years of competition between both teams.

The victory gives the Panthers the lead in the Southwestern Athletic Conference West division with a 4-2 overall record and 3-1 conference record.

After singer Kelly Rowland kicked off the game with a pregame performance, the game began with the Panthers defense forcing a turnover against the Tigers.

Tigers running back Jeremy Runner fumbled the ball on the first possession of the game after the Panthers defense took the ball away from him. Panthers Chuck Obi forced the fumble.

The Panthers offense converted the turnover into a 23-yard field goal for their team by kicker Chris Barrick, making it 3-0.

Then, Panthers quarterback Jerry Lovelocke threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Courtney Brown to increase the lead to 10-0 in the first half.

Grambling State was only able to score 3 points in the first half and failed to score a touchdown in the first half to tie the game. The Tigers were driving down the field before halftime ended to score points but time ran out for them due to poor clock management and the field goal they attempted was blocked by the Panthers special teams.

The 3 points scored in the first half turned out to be the only score for the Tigers as kicker Johnathan Wallace made a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter for the Tigers.

The loss leaves the Tigers winless this season. They are 0-3 in the SWAC and 0-6 overall.

In the second half, the Tigers couldn’t get anything going as the Panthers surged in the third quarter, scoring 21 points.

Lovelocke threw for a 23-yard touchdown pass to Deandre Cooper of the Panthers to start the third quarter. Then, Grambling State fumbled again and Jamespaul Bryant of the Panthers returned the fumble for a 64-yard touchdown for his team.

With 6:49 left in the third quarter, Lovelocke once again scored by pushing his team into the end zone with a 1 yard run.

In the fourth quarter, lightning and rain started to hit the field but the game ended just in time before a delay.

Overall, the Panthers had 20 first downs while the Tigers had 17 first downs. Prairie View had 81 yards in rushing on 36 attempts and the Tigers had 108 overall yards rushing with 33 attempts. In the passing game, the Panthers had 246 yards and the Tigers had 221 yards.

Grambling will play Alcorn State next as they hope to end their losing streak. The Panthers will play Alabama State.

Thousands of fans enjoyed the battle of the bands at halftime between Prairie View and Grambling State as both bands dazzled the field with their rhythm, dance moves and instruments.