MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama State struggled to move the ball against Jackson State in a key Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) contest Saturday afternoon at ASU Stadium, and Jackson State took advantage of key mistakes by the Hornets en route to a 20-2 victory.
Alabama State (3-6, 2-3 SWAC) struggled through the game, mustering just 180 yards of total offense throughout the game and used three different quarterbacks in the contest. The Hornets reached the red zone just two times, both coming late in the second half but came away empty on both.
Meanwhile, Jackson State (5-4, 4-2 SWAC) took advantage of their opportunities, scoring twice within just seconds of each other in the first quarter to take a 10-0 lead. The Tigers, who will now face Alcorn State November 17 with a berth in the championship game on the line, used a 37-yard field goal off the foot of Christian Jacquemin to cap off an 11 play-60 yard drive for a 3-0 lead. They would add to the lead just 14 seconds later on a 19-yard interception return by Ryan Theyard for a 10-0 lead with 2:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Hornets’ defense kept the game close until the final 24 seconds of the first half when Jarrad Hayes found Keshawn Harper on a wheel route for an 18-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead at the intermission.
The two teams went scoreless in the fourth quarter until Jacquemin added a 39-yard field goal, his second of the day, to cap off an 11 play-46 yard drive for a 20-0 lead. The Hornets would threaten for the first time on the day with 7:12 to play in the game as they drove down into the red zone. A pass from Chris Scott to Joe Williams IV was batted in the air and initially intercepted by Jackson State, however, on the return, the Tigers were penalized for a block in the back and gave Alabama State a safety to put the Hornets on the board.
The final scoring opportunity of the night belonged the Alabama State as the defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Christian Clark at the eight-yard line. However, the team was pushed back to outside the 20 due to penalties and the drive ended.
Scott finished the day 8-of-25 passing for 78 yards, while KHA’Darris Davis – who left in the first half – finished 3-for-10 for 24 yards. The Hornets were held to 71 yards rushing, with Scott collecting 32 of those; while Jeremiah Hixon led the way with three catches for 24 yards. Defensively, Kurron Ramsey led the way with nine tackles, while Darron Johnson and Malik Bridgers each added eight.
Alabama State returns to action Saturday afternoon on the road at Prairie View A&M, with kick set for 1 pm. The game can be heard on the Hornet Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show at 12:30 pm.
Courtesy: Alabama State Athletics