Southern wins thriller over Grambling in Bayou Classic

Southern wins thriller over Grambling in Bayou Classic
Southern claims second straight SWAC West title with 30-28 win over Grambling in Bayou Classic on Nov. 30, 2019. (Source: Chris Barber, Special to GoJagSports.com)

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The 46th Bayou Classic was a battle of the two most consistent teams in the SWAC West for quite a long time now.

On the line was a trip to the conference title game and it wasn’t until there was :10 left in regulation that the game went from hanging in the balance to decided. Senior Joe Davis blocked a Grambling field goal attempt, his second of the day, by the way, to complete an 18-point comeback for the Jags after they fell behind 21-3 by the middle of the second quarter.

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It’s really a symbolic win for this 2019 group that has seen ups and downs throughout the season but somehow booked a ticket to its second straight conference title game. After the game, the Jags reflected on that moment the kick was blocked and they knew it was over.

“First of all, it’s like pause and give honor and glory and thanks because ... I’ve been telling our team, really all year, that the games that we’ve lost, we’re supposed to lose so that we could get to a point in the season where you say, ‘What’s your defining moment?’" said head coach Dawson Odums.

“I just saw the whole year; it just like flashed between my eyes," added senior wide receiver Hunter Register. "I’m glad he got blocked. I’m just, he was like ... I saw, I actually saw myself running at summer workouts and it was just like, all of this is going to be for nothing if he makes this, so I’m glad he missed. Well, I’m glad it got blocked.”

Quarterback Ladarius Skelton was 18-of-25 for 181 yards two touchdowns. He was named Bayou Classic MVP. Both of those scoring passes were caught by Register. He finished with seven catches for 75 yards. Freshman running back Jarad Sims had seven carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns to lead the ground attack. Devon Benn had 11 carries for 66 yards.

Defensively, linebacker Calvin Lunkins had 11 tackles and two quarterback hurries. Linebacker Caleb Carter and safety Montavius Gaines each had nine tackles.

A rematch of the October 26 meeting between Southern (8-4, 6-1 SWAC) and Alcorn (8-3, 6-1 SWAC) is on and once again, the game will be held in Lorman, Miss. In the first game, the Jags fell 27-13 and gave up 377 total yards to the Braves.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU. The winner will move on to the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta to face North Carolina A&T, the champion of the MEAC.

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