JACKSON, Mississippi – It was Senior Night for Jackson State but a fifth-year senior for Alabama A&M stole the show Saturday.
Chris Leachman made the first start of his career the best game of his career in leading the Bulldogs to a 25-14 win over Jackson State at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The California native, filling in for injured starter Jaymason Lee, engineered four drives of more than 70 yards in helping the Bulldogs improve to 3-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, 4-5 overall. Jackson State fell to 1-5, 3-6.
Leachman teamed up with tight end Jonathan Dorsey on a 60-yard catch and run at 9:50 of the first quarter to cap an eight-play, 85-yard drive for the opening score.
The Tigers came back to take a 7-6 lead – A&M missed the point-after – on a LaMontiez Ivy to Dan Williams 12-yard TD pass at 13:57.
But the Bulldogs, with Leachman at the helm answered back when he connected with fellow senior Montaurius Smith in the endzone on a 25-yard scoring pass just three minutes later, Ceasar Diaz-Ramon was good on the point-after and the Bulldogs led 13-7 – a lead they never relinquished.
Diaz-Ramon hit 37-yard field goal with 5:04 left in the half, giving Alabama A&M a 16-7 lead at intermission.
The Bulldogs added a safety at 11:39 of the third quarter and Leachman combined with Dorsey again – this time on a 44-yard pass – for a 25-7 lead at 2:18 of the quarter.
Jackson State wrapped up the scoring with a 34-yard TD pass from Ivy to Jairus Moll.
Leachman finished 18 of 28 for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brandon Eldemire led the Bulldogs ground attack with 102 yards on 17 carries. The Bulldogs had 442 yards in total offense while the Tigers had 403 yards.