BATON ROUGE, La. – The Alabama State Hornets held on to beat Southern 31-30 in a Southwestern Athletic Conference game at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Alabama State (7-3 overall, 7-2 SWAC) remains in a virtual tie for the Eastern Division lead with Jackson State, a 35-21 winner over Alabama A&M. Jackson State (6-4, 6-2) plays at Alcorn State next Saturday. A loss by J-State clinches the East for the Hornets, while a Tigers win would clinch the division for Jackson State.
Despite allowing a touchdown with 20 seconds to play, Alabama State forced an incompletion on the two-point conversion pass to preserve the win.
“We’re happy with it,” head coach Reggie Barlow said. “Whenever you can come on the road and play a really good team, you’ll take the victory. Southern is a good team. They fought like all get out, but our guys withstood the test, and we’ll take the victory.”
Malcolm Cyrus (11-126-1) and Isaiah Crowell (17-103-1) each went over the century mark in rushing for the Hornets, who gained 456 yards. Greg Jenkins completed 19-of-29 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, a 55-yarder to DeMario Bell in the first quarter, and a 6-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.
Alabama State scored on its first two possessions to set the tone. The Hornets took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in seven plays. Cyrus finished off the drive with a 29-yard scoring run up the middle to give the Alabama State a 7-0 lead.
On the next drive, Crowell ended a five-play 87-yard drive with a 53-yard touchdown run to give the Hornets a 14-0 lead.
After a Southern touchdown and following an Alabama State defensive stand which included a fourth-down stop on a fake punt attempt, Bell caught a short pass, eluded a tackler, and raced 55 yards for a touchdown to give the Hornets a 21-7 lead after one quarter.
Jimmy Daniels’ sack and forced fumble was recovered by Quin Bohannon to set up the Hornets’ next touchdown drive. A six-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins to Robinson capped an eight-play, 64-yard drive to extend the Alabama State lead to 28-7 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
After Southern scored 17 straight points to cut the lead to 28-24 midway through the third quarter, Alabama State extended its lead on a 12-play, 55-yard drive. Bobby Wenzig’s 26-yard field goal gave the Hornets a 31-24 lead it would take to the fourth quarter.
The Hornets have an open date next week before opening New ASU Stadium on Thanksgiving Day vs. Tuskegee at 3 p.m.
– Courtesy: Alabama State Sports Information
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