SHREVEPORT - A young Grambling State offense grew up on the field Saturday as the Tigers overcame early jitters to take a 21-14 season opening win over Alcorn State in the Port City Classic played at Independence Stadium.
Freshman quarterback D.J. Williams connected on a pair of touchdowns and threw for 161 yards with no interceptions.
“I thought we made plays when we needed to, but more importantly, didn’t make the kinds of bad plays that can kill you,” GSU coach Doug Williams said. “The weather conditions made it tough, but the whole team did a good job of executing and doing what they needed to do to win.”
Senior running back Kenneth Batiste helped take some of the pressure off of D.J. Williams by rushing for 83 yards on 19 attempts, including a five-yard scoring scamper at the 9:08 mark of the second quarter to put GSU on top 21-14.
Freshman running back Juwan Martin chipped in with 34 yards on 12 carries for the Tigers.
Alcorn outgained GSU in total offense with 266 yards compared to 256 yards for the Tigers.
GSU outrushed the Braves 95-91.
Alcorn State sophomore quarterback Brandon Bridge connect on 12-of-17 passes for 175 yards while D.J. Williams completed 16 of 21 attempts for 161 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers were spearheaded by senior linebacker Cliff Exama, who lead all players with 10 tackles while Trey Williams added six takedowns, including a sack and also recorded a pair of quarterback hurries.
Bridge topped the Braves with 45 rushing yards on 11 carries.