State Fair Classic champions battle to stay on top
AARON HALL | 10/23/2017, 7:18 a.m.
The Dallas Examiner
Last year’s Black National College Champions, the Grambling State Tigers (4-1), met the Prairie View Panthers (2-2) in a SWAC showdown at the State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl Oct. 7. The Tigers were led by North Texas native and Skyline standout Devante Kincade, #1, who threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns to lead his team to their fifth win of the season, beating Prairie View 34-14.
The Tigers came out of the gates hot, with Kincade tossing a 16-yard touchdown to junior Darrell Clark, #17, on the team’s opening drive. Clark finished the game with five receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Grambling had no problem moving the ball on the ground. The Tigers rushed for 183 yards against the Panthers, with junior running back Martez Carter, #4, leading the way with 129 yards on 16 carries.
The Panthers managed to hang around in the first quarter. Prairie View answered a Grambling field goal with a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Lavell McCullers, #5, to senior receiver Khadarel Hodge to make it 10-3 Grambling at the end of the period. It was a tough day at the office for the Panthers offense, with that touchdown being the highlight of the night.
GSU exploded for three touchdowns in the second quarter, creating too much of a lead for Prairie View to recover. It started with Carter sprinting through the Prairie View defense for a 76-yard touchdown. On their next drive, Clark caught his second touchdown from Kincade, and to complete the second quarter hat trick for the Tigers, quarterback Kincade threw his third touchdown of the day to sophomore receiver Lyndemian Brooks, #6, to put the Tigers up 31-7 at the half.
McCullers finished the night with 194 yards and two touchdowns, with the bulk of his production coming in garbage time.
Even though Prairie View was being dominated on the field, their band’s performance made it well worth the price of admission for their fans.
At halftime, Grambling State’s marching band kicked things off with a rendition of Juvenile’s mega-hit Back That Thang Up, and Prairie View followed it with a performance of My Prerogative by Bobby Brown. Both bands were outstanding, but I would have to give the edge to Prairie View; their choreography, their rhythm, their swag was all on full display.
Grambling came into the game ranked No. 1 in the SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll and No. 19 in the FCS Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Panthers were not ranked.
This was the 69th meeting between the programs. Grambling has dominated the series 50-17-1, including winning the last three.