ULM downs Grambling in season opener, 31-9

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by Candice Dixson, GSU Sports Information Staff

MONROE, La. – The Grambling State University football team dropped its season opener against the University of Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday evening in Malone Stadium.

The Tigers (0-1 Overall, 0-0 SWAC) were only able to score a touchdown and a field goal as the Warhawks (1-0, 0-0 Sun Belt Conference) remained victorious for the fourth time in as many meetings between the two schools with a 31-9 win.

After nearly 10 minutes had expired from the clock, a 51-yard rush into the end zone by Josh Johnson opened the scoring for ULM in the first quarter. Grambling State answered with a 15-yard pass from Geremy Hickbottom to Lyndon Rash with under a minute remaining in the first. At the end of the quarter, ULM led 7-6.

The Warhawks were able to score a second touchdown as Caleb Evans 16-yard pass connected with Xavier Brown with 12:50 remaining in the second quarter.

The Tigers’ defense kept the Warhawks from scoring another touchdown in the second quarter. A 40-yard field goal from Jeremy Meeks with 4:14 remaining gave ULM a 17-6 advantage. Garrett Urban’s 40-yard field goal proved to be successful, as the Tigers then trailed 17-9 at halftime.

Turning Point
The Tigers had several attempts to score but the Warhawk defense proved to be too much. A 37-yard rush by Johnson followed by the PAT from Jacob Meeks with 12:51 remaining ended the game with a 31-9 final score.

Grambling State was unable to return from the deficit. Both teams toggled offensively and defensively, but the game would result in ULM’s favor.

Inside the Numbers
> Grambling State finished with 21 first downs
> The Tigers finished the night with 407 total offensive yards
> Keilon Elder led the Tigers with six rushes for 82 yards
> Geremy Hickbottom finished the night with 157 passing yards on 18-31
> Danquarian Fields led the team in tackles with 16 followed by De’Andre Hogues with 8, Keilon Elder with 7 and Brendan Vaughn with 5 > Louisiana-Monroe recorded 24 first downs
> The Warhawks finished with 501 total offensive yards
> Quarterback Caleb Evans was 19-25 passing for 183 yards and one touchdown
> Josh Johnson led the Warhawks with 173 rushing yards
> Chase Day led his team in tackles with 12, followed by Cortex Cisco with nine, Nick Ingram with eight and Traveion Webster with six

News and Notes
> The Tigers and Warhawks first met in 2007 with Louisiana-Monroe earning a 28-14 victory
> The attendance in Malone Stadium was 28,327; the fourth largest stadium history

Football Facts
> ESPN ranked Grambling State 25th among the top 50 football programs of all time
> Grambling State was predicted to finish third in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Up Next
Grambling State will take on Louisiana Tech Saturday, Sep. 7. Kickoff in Joe Aillet Stadium is set for 2 p.m.

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