SHREVEPORT, LA. – The Alabama State football team put together a second consecutive strong defensive effort by holding the conference’s top-ranked offense with just 14 points through most of the game before ultimately falling 21-0 at Independence Stadium in the Red River State Fair Classic on Saturday.
The Hornets were coming off its’ most complete defensive effort of the season in a 14-7 victory against conference foe Jackson State last week, but had difficulty in generating offense against a SWAC school that has yet to lose in conference play in Grambling State.
The Tigers (7-1 overall, 7-0 SWAC), who entered averaging 45.7 points per game, were marginalized by a stingy Hornets defense that put forth a valiant effort.
“It was a tough one,” said ASU head football coach Brian Jenkins.
“Guys played hard and played to win, but just didn’t get it done. The defense stood up and did some good things. Today just wasn’t the Hornets’ day. The defense didn’t fold. They played within the system. It was really good to see them finally arrive.”
Alabama State (3-7 overall, 3-6 SWAC) trailed 14-0 after the first quarter, but did not allow any points in the second and third quarters.
Tigers’ quarterback Devante Kincade found Verlan Hunter for a 16-yard touchdown strike and Jestin Kelly followed with a two-yard touchdown rush with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter.
The game featured the top two running attacks in the conference as the Hornets entered leading the way by rushing for an average of 214.3 rushing yards contest.
Grambling was next behind with 203.1 rushing yards per game.
ASU senior running back Khalid Thomas went over the century mark in rushing yards for a sixth straight game, garnering 115 rushing yards on 17 carries for a lofty 6.8 yards per attempt.
“He’s a tremendous guy and a tremendous player,” Jenkins said of Thomas.
“He’s the heart and soul of our offense. He put us in several positions to score some points. He had some big runs against a top defense. It was really good to see him perform once again. My expectations are that he’s going to do that every game and once again, he answered the bell.”
Nygel Lee also led the Hornets’ receiving core with seven receptions for 107 yards including a 62-yard play.
Fresh off his third SWAC Newcomer of the Week award, freshman linebacker Darron Johnson made a team-high seven tackles with one pass break up.
Next, Alabama State will host the final game of the game of the season on Thanksgiving Day against Miles College for the Turkey Day Classic / Homecoming.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
Courtesy: ASU Athletics
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