Grambling State Falls to Hampton in Season Opener, 35-31

HARRISON, N.J. | The Grambling State University football team suffered a season-opening 35-31 defeat to Hampton University on Saturday afternoon in the inaugural Brick City Kickoff Classic at Red Bull Arena.

The GSU offense rolled up 411 yards of total offense, with the majority coming from the arm of newly tabbed starting quarterback, Myles Crawley.

Crawley, a transfer from Alabama State, made his debut for the G-Men, completing 25-of-38 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman remained poised and in control for much of the afternoon.

On the Grambling State’s first drive of the day, Crawley led the Tigers to the end zone with a12-play, 75-yard drive capped by a nine-yard touchdown reception by Joshua Quiett. GSU led 6-0 after the two-point conversion failed.

Hampton responded on the ensuing possession when Darian Butts broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run to put the Pirates in front 7-6 with 7:30 to go in the opening quarter.

Grambling State regained the lead briefly after Tanner Rinker drilled a 31-yard field goal to make 9-7 Tigers with 11:46 remaining in the first half. It was Rinker’s first points in the black & gold.

The Pirates held a 21-9 lead heading into halftime thanks to pair of touchdown passes by Christopher Zellous. He connected with TK Paisant for a 41-yard score and Evan King for 16-yard TD.

Coming out of the locker room, Grambling State showcased its fast-paced offense, quickly moving down the field and setting up a 1-yard touchdown by Floyd Chalk. Queitt caught the two-point conversion attempt as GSU trimmed the deficit to 21-17 at 11:24 mark of the third quarter.

Hampton answered back quickly as Zellous scampered for a 22-yard touchdown run, giving the Pirates a 28-17 cushion with 7:59 remaining in the period.

At the start of the fourth quarter, an interception by Robert Wilson thwarted a Hampton drive at the Grambling State 38-yard line.

The Tigers cut the lead down the three, 28-25, with 13:35 remaining in the contest when Crawley found Lyndon Rash for a 36-yard touchdown pass. Nae’Saan Dickerson caught the two-point conversion. However, Zellous pushed the Pirate’s advantage to 35-25 with an 11-yard touchdown with 3:14 to go.

GSU didn’t give up, however. Chance Williams scored his first touchdown of the season with three-yard run with 59 second to play. The score was set up by a 46-yard reception by Antonio Jones. Rinker missed the PAT. Grambling State trailed 35-31.

Luca Duarte entered the game to attempt an onside kick, but the ball bounced of a Pirate and scooted out of bounds, preserving the win for Hampton.

Grambling State struggled to suppress the HU ground attack, surrendering 279 rushing yards. Zellous led the Pirates’ offense racking up 155 yards through the air and 114 on the ground. He completed 14-of-21 passes with two touchdowns. He added two more rushing TDs.

Butts added 103 rushing yards with a touchdown for HU.

GSU defensive lineman Javon Carter earned the Brick City Kickoff Classic Defensive Player of the Game after posting eight tackles, one tackle for loss and 0.5 sacks.

Cedric Anderson and Robert Wilson each registered an interception.


  • Grambling State finished with 19 first downs.
  • GSU racked up 411 yards offense with 311 coming through the air and 100 coming through the rushing attack.
  • The Tigers were perfect in the red zone, scoring on all four trips.
  • GSU committed nine penalties for 85 yards.
  • Lyndon Rash led the Grambling State receiving corps with eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
  • Jimmy Iles punted the ball six times for an average of 41.8 yards per boot.
  • Javon CarterLewis Matthews and Kevin Thomas led the defense with eight tackles each.
  • The GSU defense forced two turnovers. Cedric Anderson and Robert Wilson registered interceptions.
  • Hampton picked up 26 first downs.
  • The Pirates registered 434 yards with 279 of those coming on the ground.
  • Paul Woods led HU is receptions with four. TK Paisant had the most yards, picking up 47 with a score.
  • Qwahsin Townsel led all tacklers with 12 tackles.

Up Next
Grambling State gears up to travel to Baton Rouge, La. for a contest versus LSU of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It will mark the first time these two programs have met of the gridiron. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.