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G-Men with the Win

Tigers stymie Tennessee State 16-10 in Hall of Fame Classic
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
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Photo courtesy of GSU
Grambling State quarterback Elijah Walker (3) gets a block from tight end Jaye Patrick (86) for big yardage against Tennessee State Sunday.

CANTON, Ohio — Elijah Walker earned offensive MVP honors, and Kenan Fontenot was selected the defensive MVP as the Grambling State University football team held off Tennessee State, 16-10, in the Black College Hall of Fame Classic on Sunday afternoon at Tom Benson Memorial Stadium.

Tennessee State took advantage of a short field after a Grambling State punt, capping a seven-play, 21-yard drive as Antonio Zita booted a 39-yard field goal with exactly five minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

Grambling State answered with a 15-play, 79-yard drive, which took over seven minutes off the clock as Jaye Patrick caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Walker, giving GSU a 7-3 advantage with 12:41 left in the second quarter.

TSU had an opportunity cut the margin right before halftime, but Zita’s 57-yard field goal attempt was short as Grambling State entered the break with a 7-3 lead.

After a GSU punt to begin the second half, Tennessee State drove 35 yards in 13 plays as Devon Starling scored on a 3-yard rushing touchdown, giving TSU a 10-7 advantage with just over seven minutes remaining in the third.

GSU’s defense and special teams provided a huge spark toward the end of the third. After a sack, Kaleb Mosely’s punt was partial blocked and three plays later, Grambling State punched the ball into the endzone. Walker’s 4-yard touchdown run gave GSU a 13-10 advantage as the extra point attempt failed with 2:22 left in the third.

GSU added one more final score with 9:48 remaining as Garrett Urban booted a 24-yard field goal as Grambling State extended the lead to 16-10.

Tennessee State had a huge opportunity on a 3rd and 23 play with 2:22 left as Deveon Bryant’s pass was brokeup up in the endzone by Kenan Fontenot, keeping TSU with 10 points.


— Grambling State earned its first victory since the middle of November of 2019, snapping a five game-losing streak

— GSU also broke a six-game losing streak in neutral site games

— GSU now leads the series 23-18-1


It’s a short week for Grambling State as the Tigers travel on Saturday to Hattiesburg, Miss. to take on Southern Miss. Kickoff from M.M. Roberts Stadium is set for 6 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN+.