HOUSTON — After falling behind 14-0, Grambling State University was able to climb back and take the lead over Texas Southern (2-6) in the third quarter, but was unable to hold on to win its first SWAC game, falling 23-20 to the home Tigers.
Texas Southern got out to a quick 14-0 lead on a one-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph Johnson to James Davis in the first and a five-yard pass from Johnson to James in the second. But then Grambling (1-7, 0-7) quarterback Frank Rivers got things going.
With four minutes remaining in the first half, Rivers connected with Jeremiah Hernandez on a 24-yard scoring strike. Three minutes later, he found Anthony McGhee for a 16-yard score to knot the game 14-14 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Rivers gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, hitting Musa Mahmud on a 60-yard touchdown pass, but a missed extra point left the score at 20-14.
Grambling held the lead until early in the fourth quarter, when Eric Brown picked off a Rivers pass and returned it 21 yards. Texas Southern also missed the extra point to leave the score tied AGAIN at 20-20.
That's where it stayed until late in the fourth quarter when Texas Southern capped off an 11-play, 53-yard drive with a 31-yard field goal by Robert Hersh to seal the win.
Rivers finished the night 19-of-33 with three touchdowns and one interception. He spread the ball mostly between McGhee, Hernandez and Mahmud. Hernandez finished with five catches for 98 yards, Mahmud had five for 96 and McGhee had eight for 93. The Tigers could get nothing going on the ground, with only 30 total yards, 20 of those from Cedric Skinner.
Edward Perkins-Loving ripped the GSU defense for 134 yards on the ground, with Johnson adding 76.