Some 60 days ago, Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. said the annual his players would take MEAC/SWAC Challenge personal to turn around the conference’s dismal 4-11 all-time record in the event.
After two lengthy weather delays that resulted in the game being completed after midnight, Alabama State defeated Howard 23-13 in Atlanta on Saturday night after 5 hours and 40 minutes.
Play was stopped for a weather delay with 2:12 left in regulation before the game was called.
Dematrius Davis, the Auburn transfer quarterback, was impressive in his Alabama State debut, throwing for 186 yards and a touchdown. The dual-threat signal-caller also rushed for 24 yards on eight attempts.
He was named the game’s offensive MVP.
The spread option run scheme implemented by the Hornets was effective all night between running backs Jacory Merritt, Santos Dunn and Ja’Won Howell. The group rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
For Howard, quarterback Quinton Williams struggled for the majority of the game. He threw for just 146 yards on 4.6 yards per attempt to go along with an interception.
The lone touchdown of the night for the Bison was a 5-yard scamper by Jarett Hunter. Otherwise, the offense as a whole managed 273 yards and 4.3 yards per snap.
Howard defensive lineman Jevin Jackson was named the defensive MVP.
With Alabama State’s win, the SWAC picked up its first victory in the challenge since Prairie View beat North Carolina Central 40-24 in 2018.