Trailing 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Alabama State (2-2 overall, 2-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) drove 69 yards in seven plays. Greg Jenkins’ 17-yard touchdown pass to Justin Robinson cut the Hornets’ deficit to 24-21 with 3:19 to play.
After the Hornets’ defense held Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-1, 2-1) to a three-and-out, Alabama State regained possession with 2:06 to play. The Hornets drove 43 yards in eight plays to get into scoring range, but Bobby Wenzig’s 44-yard field goal attempt with 56 seconds to play went wide right.
“It was a fun game to be a part of; it was real competitive,” head coach Reggie Barlow said. “We played a really good team and they did a good job against us. Our guys did fight back in the fourth quarter, but unfortunately it was a bit too late.”
Alabama State hurt itself with several dropped passes that could have gone for big plays, and committed 13 penalties for 115 yards.
“It was a sloppy game,” Barlow said. “Taking nothing away from Pine Bluff; I thought coming they were a really good team and they did a good job. (However), you can’t have that many penalties. I’m talking about personal foul penalties…receivers covering guys up – that’s high school stuff. We have to correct it, we have to watch the film, and try to improve.”
Trailing 7-0, the Hornets scored on their second drive of the second quarter. ASU drove 77 yards in eight plays, taking less than three minutes off the clock. The key play was a 23-yard pass from Jenkins to Darren Daniel to the UAPB 9-yard line. Two plays later, Isaiah Crowell’s four-yard touchdown run tied the score at 7-all with 5:07 to play until halftime.
Opening the second half down 14-7, the Hornets begin the third quarter with a 10-play, 82-yard scoring drive. Malcolm Cyrus’ first career touchdown, a 13-yard run to the left far pylon, tied the score at 14-all with 10:26 to play in the third quarter.
Alabama State returns to action Saturday, September 29 at Alcorn State.
Here are game highlights and post game comments from Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow.
Video courtesy of Alabama State