The legendary Grambling coach Eddie Robinson made his Classic debut a big one.
His team – lead by sophomore quarterback Kendrick Nord – struck quickly to build the momentum for a win.
Nord threw a 24-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to split end Curtis Ceaser, then followed up in the second quarter with two more of 47 yards and 32 yards to wingback Tyronne Jones.
At halftime when the bands put on their show, Grambling had a 19-7 advantage.
Then the game got interesting for the 41,669 in attendance.
TSU went to backup quarterback Daryl Williams, a sophomore from Memphis’ Westwood High School. In the second half, he quickly threw for one touchdown and ran 61 yards for another.
Grambling, however, ground out the yardage with running back Eric Gant, who rushed for two second-half touchdowns.
Tennessee State kept coming back, however. With three and a half minutes to play, Williams capped a 78-yard march with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
As the game wound down, the Grambling defense rose to the occasion and shut down TSU’s last chance, giving coach Robinson a victory in his only Southern Heritage Classic appearance.