It’s good to be kings

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2003

LORMAN &045; Grambling is just still Grambling.

No matter how hyped you get before the game, how many people are cheering against the Tigers when they come to visit or how some things might go your way at the start, they’re still the Tigers &045;&160;the three-time Southwestern Athletic Conference champions and favorite to win a fourth.

And that’s why Alcorn’s Braves are just disgusted this morning.

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The Braves played with Grambling for most of the game before a couple of bad breaks put the momentum on Grambling’s side and helped it leave with a 40-28 win over Alcorn in a contest that doesn’t count in the SWAC standings.

But it hurts almost like it was in Birmingham, Ala.

&uot;We’ll get them,&uot; said senior running back Sidney Dumas, whose team lost to Grambling for the sixth straight time Saturday. &uot;We’ll meet up with them another time because we’re not that bad of a ball club. We’ve just got to come out, practice hard and put that behind us. Mistakes happen.&uot;

Just ask the special teams.

Alcorn fell behind by three midway through the fourth before going four and out at its own 30. But the snap was high and wide, and punter Shane Phillips booted it out of the end zone from the 1-yard line.

He was called for an illegal kick, and Grambling took over at the ASU 1. Three plays later Grambling quarterback Bruce Eugene ran in for a 3-yard touchdown for a 38-28 lead with 3:37 left

Alcorn then had similar results on its next drive and punted from its own 15, and the snap to Phillips was bad again and went out the back of the end zone for a safety for the 40-28 lead with 2:18 left.

The Tigers then ran out the clock to end it.

&uot;It’s a very tough loss,&uot; Alcorn head coach Johnny Thomas said. &uot;We’ve got to look at our snaps. We thought the snapper we had in there snapped the ball well for three quarters. I can’t tell you what happened. Certain things you just can’t explain.&uot;

The snaps put the hurt on the Braves, who were reeling a bit from the Tigers’ score just before the first snap snafu.

Grambling started at its own 7 and put together its best drive of the game by going 93 yards by doing what it does best &045; Eugene in the passing game. Eugene hit Tim Abney on a 32-yard pass to get to the Alcorn 27, and a 10-yard pass to Moses Harris got to the Alcorn 12.

Eugene later finished it with a 6-yard touchdown run with 6:13 left for a 31-28 Grambling lead.

Eugene threw for 313 yards by completing 22 of 36 passes.

&uot;Tough ball game,&uot; GSU&160;head coach Doug Williams said.&160;&uot;I think it was a very emotional game for Alcorn, and I think we got caught up in it. But I think true to form champions have to come through when they had to. When they had us 28-23, this football team didn’t panic.&uot;

The Braves had a solid third quarter after nearly holding the Tigers scoreless in the first half to keep the pressure on the visitors. Grambling got a score with 47 seconds left in the third when Eugene hit Calvin Colquitt for a 23-20 lead, but the Braves answered.

They started from their own 19 and struggled a bit but found gold when quarterback Donald Carrie hit freshman Charlie Spiller of Woodville for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 9:46 left for a 28-23 lead.

&uot;I think the talent level was pretty even on both sides,&uot; Dumas said.&160;&uot;I think the momentum swing &045; that really brought it down. That’s something we’re really got to work on. We weren’t scared of them. We put on our pads just like they do.&uot;

Grambling, however, had to use a quick drive late in the first half to get its first score and tie the game up at 7-7. A 28-yard pass from Eugene to Tim Abney set up Eugene’s 20-yard TD strike to Douglas with nine seconds left to tie things up.

The Braves got on the board in the first quarter after Tyrone Parsons picked off a Eugene pass in Grambling territory. Alcorn started at the GSU 31 and needed four plays to score as Dumas scored from 14 yards out with 3:42 left in the first.