Demons storm past Grambling for Laird's first win

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NATCHITOCHES (AP) -- Shelton Eppler threw for 263 yards and four touchdowns as Northwestern State romped past Grambling State 34-7 on Saturday night to give coach Brad Laird his first win.

Head Coach Brad Laird prepares to lead his team out onto the field before the Demons' home opener.

The victory avenged the Demons 23-10 loss to Grambling last year. Grambling still holds a 3-2 edge in the series as the schools that are only 81 miles apart, met for just the fifth time.

Eppler had scoring tosses to Jaylen Watson, Jazz Ferguson and Da'Von Smith in the first quarter as the Demons sprinted to an early lead and took a 27-7 advantage into the half.

The Northwestern State defense did its job as Hayden Bourgeois picked off two passes with Ryan Reed and Rashaun Croney stealing one apiece.

The Demons bounced back from a 59-7 thumping by Texas A&M last week. Northwestern State opens Southland Conference play at Lamar next Saturday.

Aldon Clark led Grambling, throwing for 125 yards and running for 67 yards on 14 carries.