CHICAGO, Ill. (Press Release) Devante Kincade came off the bench to provide an offensive spark as the Grambling State University football team started slow in defeating Clark Atlanta, 31-20, on Saturday afternoon during the 20th Anniversary of the Chicago Football Classic at Solider Field.
Kincade, who replaced Tigers starter Geremy Hickbottom after an injury in the first quarter, tossed three touchdown passes and threw for 230 yards on 19-of-31 passing.
Clark Atlanta (3-2) struck first with a 13-play, 88-yard drive, capped by a Carlos Saldana 29-yard field goal to give the Panthers an early 3-0 lead.
After the two teams traded possessions, Grambling State (3-2) responded with a six-play drive. Kincade tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to the back corner of the end zone to Darrell Clark with 3:20 remaining in the opening quarter and gave Grambling State a 7-3 lead.
The Tigers forced a turnover on the Panthers’ next offensive possession and Grambling State took advantage.
Kincade connected with Jordan Jones, who sprinted 59 yards to paydirt, to give the Tigers a 14-3 advantage with 1:10 remaining in the first quarter.
After the two teams traded punts, Grambling State got an interception by Chris Grant, to set up shop at the Panther 35-yard line. The Tigers got a 26-yard field goal by Marc Orozco to push the advantage to 17-3 with 12:17 left in the first half.
Clark Atlanta responded with an eight-play, 82-yard drive and used 3:26 off the clock as Deandre Jackson caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Johnathon McCrary to cut the Grambling State lead to 17-10 with 8:45 remaining in the second quarter.
The Panthers continued to trim the margin as Saldana kicked a 42-yard field goal with 1:19 left in the first half as Clark Atlanta closed the gap to 17-13.
Grambling State got the ball to begin the second half and the Tigers marched 45 yards in just three plays to extend the lead to 24-13. Kincade, with his third touchdown pass of the day, found a wide-open Jones down the left sideline for the 36-yard score with 13:55 remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers started to pull away late in the third as Grambling State used a 65-yard drive and took 2:15 off the clock as Lyndemian Brooks scored on a two-yard run, with 2:43 left, to push the advantage to 31-13.
Clark Atlanta closed the margin to 31-20 with 3:53 remaining as McCrary connected with Jackson for a 25-yard touchdown, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get.
Grambling State started out of the gate slowly, but found its rhythm late in the opening quarter.
With starting quarterback sidelined with an injury, Devante Kincade came off the bench to provide the spark. The senior from Dallas, Texas connected with Darrell Clark for the first touchdown pass, a 23-yarder, and hit Jordan Jones for a 59-yard strike to give the Tigers a 14-3 lead with a little over a minute left in the first quarter.
Despite a sluggish second quarter, Kincade continued his big day, and found a wide open Jones down the left sideline for the 36-yard score.
Inside the Numbers
· Devante Kincade threw three touchdowns and was 19-of-31 passing for 230 yards.
· Grambling State amassed 313 total yards of offense, including 239 yards in the air.
· Clark Atlanta finished with 428 total yards, including 371 through the air.
· Grambling State registered 10 first-half penalties for 104 yards and finished with 17 for 181 yards.
· Darrell Clark caught four passes for 48 yards and one score.
· De’Arius Christmas recorded 13 tackles, including six solo stops and one quarterback hurry.
· Ja’Terrious Pouncy added five tackles, three solo, and one interception.
· Johnathon McCrary threw for 371 yards on 23-of-55 passing and had four interceptions.
· Deandre Jackson finished with eight catches for 129 yards and a pair of scores.
· J. Victrum finished with 14 tackles, including 11 solo and one sack.
· Grambling State went 1-for-1 in fourth-down conversions.
News & Notes
· Devante Kincade was named the Chicago Football Classic Offensive Most Valuable Player.
· Ja’Terious Pouncy was selected the Chicago Football Classic Defensive Most Valuable Player.
· Saturday’s game was the first meeting between Grambling State and Clark Atlanta.
· Grambling State came into the game ranked No. 19 in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll, #21 in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll, No. 1 in the SBN Sports Network Black College Football Poll and No. 2 in the BOXTOROW Coaches and Media Poll.
· Saturday’s game was just the second time in the 20-year history of the Chicago Football Classic where Grambling State has played in the event.
· Grambling State improved to 2-0 in the Chicago Football Classic (defeated Alcorn State and Clark Atlanta).
· Clark Atlanta fell to 1-1 in the Chicago Football Classic (defeated Central State; lost to Grambling State).
· Saturday’s game was the final non-conference game for Grambling State. The Tigers will play the final six games against the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponents (Prairie View A&M, Alcorn State, Texas Southern, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Alabama State and Southern).
Grambling State steps back into SWAC play next Saturday as the Tigers will meet Prairie View A&M in the 92nd Annual Southwest Airlines State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Follow Grambling State Athletics
For complete coverage of Grambling State athletics, please follow the Tigers on social media at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter), /gramblingstateathletics (Facebook) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at gsutigers.com.