MONTGOMERY, ALA. –Alcorn State earned its first win of the season defeating Alabama State for the second straight year 31-14 at ASU Stadium.
For the second consecutive week, the Hornets (0-2, 0-1 SWAC) had a lead that they were unable to sustain.
The Hornets took the lead twice on touchdown drives in the opening half, but the Braves (1-1, 1-0 SWAC) had a follow-up answer to combat the ASU attack.
Alcorn took a 17-14 lead into halftime on a 29-yard field goal by Haiden McCraney and with a big edge in time of possession.
It’s all the points they would need.
Braves senior quarterback John Gibbs Jr. completed 26-of-33 passes for 306 yards, threw for a touchdown and ran for another.
The complexion was different early as ASU outscored the Braves 14-7 in the first quarter.
ASU marched right down the field on their first possession, capping a six-play drive for 70 yards in 2:12 on a 37-yard touchdown scramble by redshirt sophomore Ellis Richardson, who was making his first career start.
Richardson completed 9-of-18 passes for 59 yards and he also added 46 yards on the ground with a score.
On the Hornets’ next series, the quick strike offense was at it again.
Largely on the strength of their running attack, ASU went on a 12-play drive for 76 yards in 3:01.
Junior Khalid Thomas showcased some shiftiness on a cut back touchdown run of seven yards to put the Hornets back on top 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Freshman running back Alex Anderson had an efficient eight carries for 40 yards (5.0 yards per carry) with a long run of 12 yards.
Alcorn State came directly back with a 14-play drive for 90 yards in 6:12 on a Gibbs Jr. three-run touchdown run to lock up the score are 14-14.
In the third quarter, Braves’ running back Darryan Ragsdale broke through for a 25-yard score to help push the lead to 10.
The biggest play of the night came when Gibbs Jr. connected with Tollette George, who streaked down the near sidelines for a 62-yard touchdown with 1:12 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 17 after the PAT.
But, ASU was unable to convert the opportunity into any points as a sack on a fourth and four situation turned the ball over on downs.
The Hornets threatened again when Thomas returned the kickoff to the ASU 48-yard line, a 42-yard return for one of his longest of his career.
Kourtney Berry had an enormous first half with 12 tackles and finished with 15 for the game.