Arizona gets past Grambling 31-21

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[September 12, 2016]    Quarterback Brandon Dawkins accounted for 339 total yards in his first career start and Arizona used four consecutive Grambling State turnovers in the second half to rally for a 31-21 win on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.


Arizona (1-1) trailed the Tigers of the Football Championship Subdivision 21-3 at halftime, but Dawkins scored on a 2-yard run around right end to start the second half. The Wildcats took a 31-21 lead early in the fourth quarter, scoring touchdowns after three of the four consecutive turnovers.

A fifth turnover, a fumble, stopped a Grambling State drive at the Arizona 15 with 6:20 to play. A sixth turnover, an interception, came with 2:58 left.

Dawkins, a sophomore, filled in for starter Anu Solomon, who was not in uniform and wore a brace on his left knee. He suffered the injury in practice this week, although the severity was not immediately known.

Dawkins completed 15 of 29 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown. He ran 16 times for 97 yards and two scores. Arizona running back Nick Wilson rushed for 116 yards on 24 carries.

Grambling State (1-1) was rolling in the first half, with 303 total yards, but quarterback DeVante Kincade left late in the half after suffering a non-contact leg injury while scrambling. He was carried to the sideline and did not return.

Kincade, a transfer from Ole Miss, finished 15 of 19 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Trevon Cherry was 16 of 25 for 209 yards and three interceptions.

Arizona, which was a 44-point favorite, sputtered in the first half, failing on fourth-and-2 at the Grambling 32 and fourth-and-1 at the 6. The Wildcats did get a 31-yard field goal in the second quarter from Josh Pollack, but that came after Dawkins failed to connect with a wide-open Wilson on a pass in the end zone.

Grambling State receiver Chad Williams had 13 catches for 152 yards.

Arizona linebacker Cody Ippolito recovered two fumbles but was ejected in the fourth quarter for targeting.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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