BIRMINGHAM — Jordan Bentley was determined.
Final season. Final Magic City Classic.
Bentley was determined to leave his mark.
And the Alabama A&M senior running back did.
Bentley scored four touchdowns while amassing a career-high mark in rushing yards as Alabama A&M rallied past rival Alabama State 43-41 in three overtimes Saturday afternoon in the 78th Magic City Classic at Birmingham’s Legion Field.
“Bentley is a workhorse,” Alabama A&M coach Connell Maynor said. “You’ve got to feed a guy like that the ball. He makes things happen.”
On Saturday, that philosophy was true.
Even though the majority of the game was hampered by heavy rainfall from a tropical depression, Bentley still thrived.
The senior running back from Guntersivlle, Ala. Rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries, and he caught a six-yard touchdown pass.
“Coming into the game, we knew being able to run the ball was going to be important,” Bentley said. “But when we came out of the locker room (at halftime), and the sun was shining, we also knew we were going to be able to throw the ball, too. That changed everything.”
Yes, it did.
While playing in a heavy downpour of rain, Alabama State capitalized on a blocked punt on a good field position to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
But when the rain stopped, the momentum shifted.
Quarterback Aqeel Glass scored on a 3-yard run, and Bentley rushed for another on a 6-yard carry, and Alabama A&M forced overtime.
Glass finished with 236 yards passing, completing 12 of 31 attempts with two touchdowns and an interception.
Zabrian Moore caught four passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.
But in the overtime periods, Alabama State never stopped Alabama A&M.
After Bentley rushed for a 6-yard touchdown and Moore caught a 25-yard touchdown in the first two overtime periods, Bentley owned the third, catching a 6-yard scoring pass and converting a two-point conversion.
And that’s all it took.
Bentley rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries.
Maynor knew his team was capable of pulling off the comeback.
“We’ve been there before,” he said. “It was just a matter of us making the plays, and that’s what we did.
“Now, we won the Classic. But we’re still in the race for winning the (SWAC) and getting to the Celebration Bowl. And that’s what we’re looking forward to. That’s what’s next for our team.”
Courtesy: AAMU Athletics