He just couldn’t stop Frank Warren. Few can.
“Warren,” Collins lamented this morning, “just went up and down the field on us.”
The senior running back — No. 2 in the nation before taking the field against Alcorn — scored five touchdowns to extend Grambling’s best-in-the-conference winning streak to 5. He ran for 202 total yards and a quartet of scores in the 38-28 victory.
Warren is now only 67 yards away from becoming the Tigers’ first 1,000 rusher since 2001, and just 23 yards away from second all-time for career rushing at Grambling (5-1, 5-0). He needs 490 yards to best Eric Gant as the program’s all-time leading rusher.
“We didn’t play very well on defense, and we had a lot of missed opportunities on offense,” Collins said. “We dropped two picks, and one would have been a sure touchdown. When you play against a team like Grambling, you can’t afford that. You have to capitalize on every mistake they make. You also can’t give up 200-plus yards on the ground and expect to win. We didn’t get our offense going until the second half.”
Rodale Pippen added 61 rushing yards for Grambling, while quarterbacks Anthony Carrothers and Danny Reyes combined for 139 passing yards and a touchdown. (Reyes tossed the scoring pass to, yes, Frank Warren.)
[THEDERISOREPORT ASKS: Why isn’t senior Grambling running back Frank Warren getting more attention from the Walter Payton Award watch list makers?]
Alcorn quarterback Brandon Bridge didn’t go down easily, throwing three of his four touchdown passes after the bands played. Bridge lived up to his “Air Canada” nickname — he passed for 404 yards — while running for 41, part of of a 483-yard offensive outburst by Alcorn.
Yet the Braves still fell to 3-3 overall, and 2-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
“It’s a tough lesson, a hard lesson for us,” Collins said. “They are learning, week by week. We will continue to work on those things, and continue to get better.”
Warren’s hunt for SWAC immortality shapes up like this, with five games left on Grambling’s 2010 slate: He’s 258 away from Walter Payton’s fifth-place spot on the conference’s all-time rushing list. Jackson State’s Destry Wright (1997-99) holds the league mark with 4,049 career yards — just 744 away.