Devante Kincaide scored three touchdowns and accounted for 339 yards of total offense as Grambling defeated rival Southern 52-30 in the Bayou Classic and claiming a spot in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game.
Grambling (10-1, 9-0 SWAC) completed their second straight undefeated SWAC season in winning the SWAC West title with their win over Southern (8-3, 8-1 SWAC).
Southern actually led early after Austin Howard threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Willie Quinn in the first quarter. But Grambling scored 17 points over the next 14 minutes to go up 17-6. Leonard Tillery ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter to pull Southern to 17-13, but that was as close as the Jaguars would get the rest of the day.
Kincaide's third quarter 45-yard touchdown run ignited a 21-point Grambling run that put the game out of reach.
“That was huge,” Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs told The Advocate. “We always talk about momentum, and he who has the momentum normally wins the football game.”
Kincaide finished with 238 yards and one touchdown passing and 56 yards and one TD rushing. Martez Carter also had a big day with 118 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
It offset a huge day for Southern's Tillery, who finished with 234 yards and a touchdown on the ground and another TD receiving.
"I really thought we could run the football," Southern coach Dawson Odums told The Advocate. "...We were able to do that, but at the end of the day we didn't score enough points. You can get all the yards you want, but you've got to have one more point than they have."
Howard threw three TDs for Southern.
Grambling now heads to Saturday's SWAC title game in Houston, again facing Alcorn State (5-5, 5-4 SWAC). Alcorn State defeated Grambling 49-21 in last year's championship game. But the G-Men made up for that defeat with an easy 43-18 win over Alcorn State in September.
The champion will get the SWAC's berth in the Celebration Bowl where they take on MEAC champ, North Carolina Central on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Kickoff Saturday in Houston is 3 p.m. CST.