The last Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship game definitely did not leave fans disappointed as the Alcorn State University (ASU) Braves (7-5, 5-2) took on the Grambling State University (GSU) Tigers (11-1, 7-0) in a repeat from last year that left everyone on the edge of their seats.
The G-Men got out of the gate first in the first quarter when Quarterback Devante Kincade scrambled on a 14 yard run into the end zone at the 12:06 mark and with Kicker Marc Orozco’s extra point the score was 7-0, GSU. The Braves, not to be outdone, scored at the 7:50 mark when Running back De’Lance Turner scored on a 2 yard scamper to pay dirt and with Kicker Corey McCullough’s successful PAT (point after attempt) the score was now tied at 7. The Tigers wasted only 2 minutes and 22 seconds before scoring again at the 5:28 mark when Orozco kicked a 48 yard field goal to make the score 10-7, G-Men. The Braves put the Tigers on notice with only 1 minute and 42 seconds left in the first quarter when McCullough nailed a 21 yard field goal to tie the game at 10 going into the second quarter.
The Tigers put on a scoring clinic in the second quarter as everything seemed to go their way. Running back Martez Cater scored on a 5 yard run at the 11:27 mark and with Orozco’s PAT the score was 17-10, G-Men. The scoring continued at the 8:06 mark when Tight end Jordan Jones scored on a 15 yard pass from Kincade and with yet another successful PAT by Orozco the score was now 24-10, G-Men. The Tigers continued their scoring dominance when at the 4:42 mark they scored yet again when Kincade scored on a 27 yard run and with an Orozco extra point the score was now 31-10, G-Men. GSU’s final score in the second quarter came with just 24 seconds remaining on the clock before halftime when Wide receiver Quinton Guice caught a 4 yard pass from Kincade and with an Orozco extra point the score at halftime was 38-10, G-Men.
The third quarter saw no scoring from both teams as both defenses clamped down hard on one another but the fourth quarter was a different story. The Tigers got on the board first in the fourth quarter at the 14:55 mark when Defensive lineman Brandon Varner got a safety in the end zone making the score 40-10, G-Men. The Braves, sensing urgency, scored their first points since the first quarter at the 12:53 mark when Wide receiver Norlando Veals caught a 34 yard pass from Quarterback Lenorris Footman and with a McCullough extra point the score was now 40-17, G-Men. The Braves weren’t done as they attempted to emulate the Tigers’ scoring tenacity when Footman scored at the 6:11 mark and with a successful McCullough PAT the score was now 40-24, G-Men. Alcorn, sensing one of the greatest comebacks in SWAC Championship history, scored yet again with 1 minute and 50 seconds left in the game when Turner scored on a 6 yard run and with a successful 2 point conversion from Footman to Veals in the back of the end zone the score was now 40-32, G-Men but unfortunately for the Braves time expired making that the final score leaving the Grambling State University Tigers the 2017 SWAC Football Champions.
The Tigers will travel to Atlanta, Georgia on December 16th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Champion (MEAC) North Carolina A&T Bulldogs (11-0, 8-0) in the Celebration Bowl. The game will air at 12:00 pm Eastern and will be televised on ABC.