GRAMBLING, La. | The Grambling State University football team fought hard to the end and had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but came up short in a 20-16 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) loss to Florida A&M in the 2022 home opener on Saturday at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.
Grambling State (1-6 overall, 0-4 SWAC) trailed 20-16 in the final two minutes and drove to the Florida A&M 12 before an offensive pass interference penalty forced the Tigers out of the red zone. Four plays later, Julian Calvez's pass toward the end zone fell short as the Rattlers escaped with the 20-16 victory.
After a scoreless first quarter, Florida A&M (5-2, 3-1) broke the tie as Jose Romo-Martinez booted a 29-yard field goal, capping a 14-play, 68-yard drive with 12:33 remaining in the second quarter.
Grambling State tied the game at 3 with just over one minute left in the half as Garrett Urban connected on a 39-yard field goal.
The Tigers' special teams wasn't done and on the ensuing kickoff, Urban's kick was recovered by Kevin Thomas at the FAMU 16. GSU was aided by an unsportsmanlike penalty on the drive before Calvez found Lyndon Rash on the slant for the 7-yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining before halftime as Grambling State took a 10-3 advantage.
Florida A&M tied the game at 10 with 7:04 remaining in the third period as Jeremy Moussa found Jeremiah Pruitte on a 4-yard touchdown pass, completing an 8-play, 68-yard drive.
The Rattlers broke the 10-10 tie right before the end of the quarter as Moussa scored on a 2-yard keeper to give FAMU a 17-10 advantage.
Grambling State's special teams provided the next score as Donald Johnson III raced down the left sideline 80 yards for the score, but the extra point failed as FAMU held a slim, 17-16, lead.
Romo-Martinez booted a 34-yard field with 1:45 left, setting up the wild finish.
CHECKING THE BOX SCORE
Grambling State had 22 first downs and 293 total yards of offense
The Tigers amassed 144 yards rushing
Julian Calvez rushed 16 times for a team-high 113 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per carry
Calvez also went 14 of 36 passing for 149 yards and one touchdown
Lyndon Rash caught four passes for 48 yards and one score
Jimmy Iles punted the ball five times for 203 yards, averaging 40.6 yards per punt, with a long of 51 yards and one inside the 20
Sundiata Anderson, Kevin Thomas and Lewis Matthews each recorded seven total tackles
Florida A&M finished with 20 first downs and 340 total yards
The Rattlers recorded 226 yards through the air
Jaylen McCloud rushed the ball 12 times with 57 yards
Jeremy Moussa tallied 226 yards on 22 of 36 passing, with one touchdown
Jah'Marae Sheered caught eight passes with 106 yards
Johnny Chaney Jr. registered seven tackles, including two for a loss of six yards
The Rattlers were flagged 14 times for 172 yards
NEWS AND NOTES
Grambling State and Florida A&M met for the 17th time
GSU continues to lead the all-time series, 10-7
FAMU made its first trip Grambling, Louisiana since 1991
The Rattlers have strung together back-to-back wins in the series for the 1978-1979 seasons
Garrett Urban has now registered at least one point in the last 14 games, dating back to the 2021 season
Urban missed a pair of field goals (49 and 38 yards), along with an extra point
Grambling State played its first home game in over a year and opened the season with six straight road games
Grambling State takes a week off before returning to action on October 29 at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium against Alcorn State. Kickoff against the Braves is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+.
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