NEW ORLEANS -- Greg Dillon accounted for 287 yards and two touchdowns, and Grambling State clinched a spot in the Southwestern Athletic Conference title game with a 29-14 victory over Southern in Saturday's Bayou Classic.
Dillon was 9-of-13 for 151 yards, including an 11-yard scoring strike to Nick Lewis. Dillon also rushed for 136 yards on 26 carries, including his 14-yard score. His performance helped second-year coach Rod Broadway win his first Bayou Classic and his second SWAC West Division title.
If Southern had won, it would have forced a three-way tie between Grambling, Southern and Prairie View atop the SWAC West Division. A coin flip was tentatively scheduled Sunday to help decide the division winner in the case of a three-way tie, but Grambling negated the need for it by winning the division outright and will meet Jackson State in Birmingham on Dec. 13.
Southern's Bryant Lee accounted for 208 yards in the first half -- 184 passing and 24 rushing -- but left with an undisclosed injury shortly before halftime, when the Jaguars were clinging to a 14-12 lead.
Warren Matthews relieved Lee but struggled on his first several series, throwing an interception that Keefe Hall returned 30 yards to the Southern 8. That set up Cornelius Walker's 4-yard touchdown run that gave Grambling (10-2, 7-0 SWAC) a 22-14 lead with 12:44 to go.
Matthews drove the Jaguars (6-5, 5-2) to the Grambling 16 on Southern's next drive, but then was intercepted by T.J. McCord at the 3. Grambling's Frank Warren added a 31-yard touchdown with 1:13 left to seal the win.
Matthews was 8-of-15 for 96 yards and three interceptions.
Lee threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Juamorris Stewart and Alvin Fosselman scored on a 1-yard run to give Southern a 14-0 lead. Leading 14-6, Southern was close to scoring again when Lee found Stewart over the middle for a 40-yard gain, but Stewart, who was in the clear, lost control of the ball and stumbled without being hit and Grambling recovered at the 12.
It was a rare misstep for Stewart, who finished with nine catches for 174 yards.
Grambling's Luis Leal kicked a 25-yard field goal, giving the Tigers a 15-14 lead they would not relinquish early in the third quarter.