After a forty-three absence, one of the truly great Black college football pageantries – the Orange Blossom Classic – was renewed on Labor Day, September 5, 2021.
Starting in 1939, the Game provided some of the best highlights of football powers until the curtain came down in 1978, Ironically, it was the same year Black colleges staked a claim to national fame when the host of the OBC – Florida A&M Rattlers won the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA National Championship. No other HBCU has claimed a national football title since then. This year, FAMU hosts the Jackson State Tigers in their first SWAC rivalry.
Labor Day 2021 was the setting for another Black college football classic. The Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic made its debut at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in 2019 at Canton, Ohio, but cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s game featured two HBCU legendary teams, Grambling State University of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and Tennessee and State University (Ohio Valley Conference).
In the first game since 1978, the Jackson State Tigers edged the host Rattlers of Florida AM, 7-6 in a defensive dominated game. QB Shedeur Sanders, son of NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was named MVP.
The event was held at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL.
QB Elijah Walker offensive MVP and DB Kenan Fontenot (defensive MVP) led the Grambling State Tigers to a hard-earned 16-10 victory. as the GSU Tigers held off Tennessee State, 16-10, in the Black College Hall of Fame Classic on Sunday afternoon at Tom Benson Memorial Stadium. TSU was led by NFL Hall of Fame RB Eddie George.