Grambling State on cruise control in SWAC opener

The Tigers ride the wave of several big plays and a stingy defense in a 34-0 victory to record their first shutout since 2011

GRAMBLING, La. | Malik Route scored on a career-long 79-yard punt return and De’Arius Christmas returned an interception 66 yards as the Grambling State University football team cruised to its first shutout win since 2011 with a 34-0 win over Alabama State on Saturday night at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers (1-2 overall, 1-0 SWAC) got a 79-yard punt return by Route to give Grambling State a quick 7-0 lead with 10:32 remaining in the opening quarter.

Grambling State extended the lead to 14-0 when Aldon Clark scored on an 11-yard with 5:56 left and on the very next the Alabama State drive, Christmas returned a deflected Darryl Pearson pass 66 yards for a touchdown as the Tigers built a 21-0 advantage through one quarter.

Marc Orozco, who came into the game 44 points shy of becoming the all-time leader in points by a kicker, booted the first of two field goals, a 21-yarder, to extend the lead to 24-0 with 6:39 left in the first half. He connected on a 29-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in the third quarter to push the margin to 27-0.

Midway through the final quarter, Geremy Hickbottom completed a pass to Kobe Ross and he was stripped of the football and Devohn Lindsey fell on it in the endzone to give the Tigers a 34-0 advantage. Grambling State scored in all three phases of the game on Saturday and built a 21-0 first quarter lead. Route’s punt return and Christmas’ interception return proved to be too much for the Hornets as Alabama State never threatened in the final three quarters.

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