Back in the Day: Jackson State at Grambling, 2006

Nick’s note: The next in a series of Summer Reruns featuring favorites from our live game-day blogs. Today, we revisit a October 2006 date between Grambling and Jackson State, a high point for GSU in a year that ultimately deflated into a 3-8 mark — just one season after the Tigers went undefeated in league play on the way to a SWAC title. Start at the bottom and work upward for moment-to-moment memories:
6:18 p.m.: Final score, 36-7, after the tacked-on TD from Grambling – a 54-yard interception return by Wossman product Bakari Guice. GSU went for two on its final score – payback, I imagine, for the pre-game trash talking. But while Jackson lost the game, it might be winning the Fifth Quarter. The Boom is quaking.

5:40 p.m.: JSU avoids the shutout with an interception return from the 46. Again, being overly aggressive. Why not run the ball? Grambling 28, JSU 7.

5:32 p.m.: David Hicks knocked down a pass on third down. JSU is punting, though I think it’s time to push the panic button and go for it. Bad snap, and the punter tries to pass it. Grambling gets the ball at its own 46.

5:29 p.m.: JSU is set up at midfield after another – yes, another – rash of penalties on Grambling. There is a little under 9 minutes left. Much of the near sell-out crowd, however, is leaving.

5:08 p.m.: Nick Lewis, a sophomore that Kuuan has nicknamed “The Future,” made a stunning one-handed grab to bring Grambling to the JSU 31. Kuuan scored on a play-action call on the very next play. Grambling 28-0.

4:59 p.m.: Senior Farmerville middle linebacker Dimitri Carr makes a timely sack on second and goal from the 1, then another stop on the third-down running play that followed. JSU is suddenly on GSU 9 with a fourth down and goal. A group of defenders pilex on the quarterback to snuff JSU’s first legitimate scoring threat of the day.

4:57 p.m.: Comegy starts making adjustments. Freshman quarterback William Brack replaces Jimmy Oliver under center, and JSU starts running the ball. GSU gives up another 12-man penalty, half the distance to the goal line. Nine minutes left in the third, at the GSU 1.

4:48 p.m.: Jackson gets the ball first, by virtue of its deferring to open the game.

4:35 p.m.: Guest PA announcers during the band performances are typical in their hyperbole. But Grambling’s is truly special today. Noting that “Grambling is known for everything!,” he went on to proclaim GSU’s football team as “The SWAC Champions of the World!”

4:26 p.m.: The Boom is playing my Temps song. You imagine Spears in the locker room giving the players his best Dennis Green imitation: JSU is who we thought they were.

4:16 p.m.: A long pass to Edwards nearly hit a drummer in the Tiger Marching Band, as it gathered for the halftime show. GSU sits at the JSU 32 with 18 seconds left. Landers’ next pass is intercepted in the end zone by JSU’s Keith Camp. But, wait, another penalty. This time on JSU. Grambling has a first down on the 20. And it’s intercepted again. Now it’s halftime. GSU 21-0.

4:33 p.m.: Grambling made a quick stop, and is attempting to get into scoring position with less than a minute left in the half.

4:06 p.m.: Manuel took off running, perhaps initially as a fake, then punted the ball end-over-end just inches off the ground to the JSU 1. In golf, that’s called a worm burner.

4:03 p.m.: Another penalty, of course. Suddenly, it’s 3rd and 17. GSU then commits yet another holding penalty, even as Landers gets flattened. Now on the JSU 47, 3rd and 27. I have a feeling Jackson State won’t be last in the league for flags when this is over. Though, it could be Grambling. They’re on a roll, too.

4 p.m.:GSU’s Dimitri Carr hits Oliver, sending his pass wobbling. Jack intercepts, then Landers hits an impossible pass to Tolbert. He goes up over a defender to make a highlight-reel grab. Tolbert, fully recovered now from non football-related surgery, is unstoppable today. Four minuntes left in first half, still GSU 21-0.

3:52 p.m.: With the drizzles stopped, fans crowd back in.

3:51 p.m.: A smart mix of running and passing. The timely play action. Tough stops against the run. Shut down corners. Great chemistry between the quarterback and his top receivers, Tolbert and Edwards. If not for so many penalties, this could be described as the game Grambling fans have been waiting for all year. Did you know they could throw a bubble screen? I didn’t.

3:48 p.m.: Landers hits a wide-open Edwards from the JSU 40-yard line. Manuel’s kick makes it 21-0.

3:42 p.m.: Oliver, perhaps dealing with a wet ball, fumbles. Grambling recovers at its own 25. There are 12 minutes left in the half.

3:41 p.m.: As a light drizzle begins, nearly half the crowd begins walking to the covered areas around the Rob’s concession stands. University police have announced that umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium.

3:39 p.m.: Not often do you call the punter a stud. This is one of those times.

Tim Manuel continues to show grit and determination when his blocking scheme breaks down – and when penalties might disrupt his rhythm.

Attempting a second-quarter punt from the midpoint of his own endzone, Manuel stepped to the side of a defender and kicked it nearly 60 yards. Perhaps inevitably, in this flag-filled game, that punt was called back. So was the next one.

Manuel finally successfully kicked from the very back of the end zone, with the ball on the GSU 1 to the 37, but only after retrieving a high snap.

3:30 p.m.: Landry Carter took the ensuing punt to midfield, but an illegal block brought it back to 10 yards from the spot of the foul – the GSU 10. Two consecutive fumbles have followed for Grambling.

3:28 p.m.: Boom is in the house. Though, it’s 4th-and-10 right now for JSU. So they ain’t “Ready” yet.

3:22 p.m. Kuuan got in two plays later. Grambling 14, JSU 0

3:21 p.m.: LSU transfer Jeffrey Jack flipped JSU’s Haw end-over-end on a 4th-and-1 at GSU’s 31, stopping the drive. Landers then ran to the JSU 31 on a draw play, but got pushed back to the JSU 47 by a holding penalty. Tolbert next took a catch-and-run to the JSU 1.

3:17 p.m.: Beloved former Grambling assistant coach Doug Porter, still an advisor on the team, was accidentally knocked down on a JSU option play that went out of bounds. That led to a brief scrum when the GSU players came to his defense.

3:15 p.m.: Spears is also wearing a gold jacket as part of “Gold Out.”

3:10 p.m.: Jackson has been in last place for penalties over much of the year, but it’s Grambling drawing the flags so far. GSU – 7th in the 10-team league – has already had a false start, an off-sides on a kick and a penalty for 12 men on the field. There was a defensive offsides in the time it took me to write this.

3:04 p.m. Jackson won the toss, but deferred. Landers then threw a pretty long ball to send Grambling’s first drive from its own 43 to the Jackson State 12. Henry Tolbert hauled in the pass in traffic. On third and eight, he hit Edwards to score. Grambling 7, JSU 0.

Previous editions of Summer Reruns …
Back in the day: Grambling at ULM, 2007



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