In a game of missed opportunities, the Alabama State University Hornets fell to Tuskegee 17-10 in the 87th edition of the Turkey Day Classic.

The game turned out to be a defensive struggle, but Tuskegee was able to score 10 points in the first half as they made play after play.

After forcing ASU to punt the first two times they got the ball, Tuskegee was able to push across the first score late in the first quarter as Nykeem Barton bulled in from 20 yards out for the 7-0 lead. The touchdown culminated a five-play, 63 yard drive that only took 2:10 of the clock.
After receiving the next kickoff, ASU was again forced to punt after only gaining 12 yards in four plays. Tuskegee then took over on their own 25 yard line and proceeded to take the ball down the field in the best drive of the game.

The drive covered 68 yards and 12 plays and was finished with a 24 yard field goal from Stewart Moody and a 10-0 Tuskegee lead.

ASU’s offense finally got untracked midway through the second quarter when the Hornets started their drive on their own 49 yard line and moved the ball down to the Tuskegee 15. On a second-and-four play, Dominguez’s pass was intercepted on the one yard line by Kevin Phinazee to stop the potential ASU scoring drive.

The score stood 10-0 at halftime. TU had held ASU’s offense to only 73 total yards and forced an interception while gaining 243 yards of their own.

The Hornets came out and played with a lot more emotion in the third quarter, holding TU to a three-and-out on their first possession of the second half.

ASU took over on their own 44 after the punt and on second down, Dominguez fumbled on TU’s 43 yard line to stop another drive into the Tigers territory.

After forcing a TU punt, ASU started was able to get on the scoreboard as Andrew Lyons connected on a 28 yard field goal with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

The stats at the end of the third quarter showed how dominating the ASU defense had been, holding TU to only 12 yards while ASU’s offense came to life and had a little over 100 yards in the quarter, yet ASU was only able to score a field goal.

The two teams went back and forth in the final stanza with the Hornets again making a mistake when Dominguez was picked off again by Kelvin Robbins who gave the Tigers the ball in ASU territory.

It looked as if the Hornets might hold the Tigers, but on third and nine Joshua Harris took off on a scramble and was able to hit Antoin Mitchell for 60 yards, down to the ASU two-yard line. Harris looked to be two yards past the line of scrimmage as the Hornets all converged on the quarterback before he released the pass, but the officials ruled it a legal play and TU went ahead and scored two plays later for a 17-7 lead with 9:52 left in the game.

ASU took the next kickoff and delivered their best drive of the game. It covered 66 yards in only five plays and took just 1:44 off the clock. The big play of the drive was a 34 yard pass from Dominguez to Nick Andrews to put the Hornets down on the TU 12 yard line.

From there Dominguez hit Charles Payne for seven yards and then scored the touchdown himself on a five yard run with 8:08 left on the clock.

The teams then traded punts until TU tried to put the game away with a fourth and one attempt on the ASU45 yard line. The fourth down run was stuffed by the ASU defense and the ball was just inches short on the measurement.

ASU was unable to do any damage as the ASU was unable to complete a fourth-down attempt with 1:39 left on the clock.

TU was able to run the clock all the way down to five seconds with ASU’s last heave being intercepted by Ronald Smith.

John Pascley and Barton each rushed for 47 yards for TU while Harris completed 11 of his 22 attempts for 196 yards and a score.

Isaiah Person paced a solid TU defense with 12 total stops. Kelvin Robbins had eight stops to go along with a fumble recovery and an interception.

TU finished with 346 yards total offense while ASU finished with 311.

Dominguez was the leading rusher for ASU with 59 yards along with his score. He completed 20 of his 35 attempts for 208 yards. Andrew Pitts had 31 yards rushing on eight carries.

Nick Andrews at 104 yards receiving on seven receptions and Payne finished with 41 yards on four catches.

ASU’s defense was led by Brandon Roberts who had eight stops. Jimmy Daniels had seven stops and a tackle for lost yardage.

“It was another Turkey Day Classic,” head coach Reggie Barlow said. “The game was great and there were lots of fans and I wish we could have played better for all of our fans. I did not feel we showed up and played today, and we did not get anything done on offense. We have got to run the ball better and if we do then our passing game will be better.”



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