Hornets trip in Magic City Classic on OT extra point

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (bamastatesports.com) – Stings of unanswered scoring runs, fiery comebacks, and plenty of dramatic moments in a see saw second half characterized the 75th annual McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca Cola between Alabama State and Alabama A&M on Saturday at Legion Field.

It was such a tight game that it needed overtime as the Hornets fell in heart wrenching fashion 42-41 to the Bulldogs.

ASU redshirt defensive tackle Roderick “Ghost” Henderson gave the Hornets extra life when the Montgomery native got a hand up to block a 33-yard field goal attempt by Nick Carden.

It would have given AAMU the lead in the waning minutes of regulation.

Instead, the teams played on into overtime.

Marquell Beckwith scored on a 14-yard touchdown run to help ASU reclaim the lead 41-35.

However, ASU would miss the PAT, giving AAMU (3-5 overall, 3-4 SWAC) hope.

Jonathan Dorsey scored on an 18-yard touchdown reception from De’Angelo Ballard and Carden came on to kick the PAT for the winning point.

ASU had won three of the previous four meetings

ASU led 14-3 after the first quarter, but AAMU scored 24 unanswered points to take a 27-14 lead with 9:36 remaining in the third.

The Hornets (2-6 overall, 2-5 SWAC) responded by scoring on consecutive possessions, the first of which came on a deep route caught by junior wide receiver Willis White in the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown from Toppings.

ASU took the lead after the defense forced a quick three and out.

Thomas turned up field for a 61-yard punt return to set up a four-run touchdown run by Marquell Beckwith.

David Albert’s PAT gave ASU a 28-27 advantage with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter.

The Hornets added to their lead when another big run by Thomas set it up for an 11-yard touchdown run by Alex Anderson.

McKenzie scored from a yard out and Roderick Randolph caught the two-point conversion to tie it at 35 with 8:16 left.

Running back Khalid Thomas was a menace to the Bulldogs’ defense all game, deking and maneuvering his way for 285 all-purpose yards including 24 carries for 170 yards, a touchdown and three punt returns for 115 yards.

This season’s match up featured the top two rushing attacks in the SWAC as Alabama State entered as the top rushing team in the SWAC with 195.0 per contest while Alabama A&M ranked second with 185.0 rushing yards per game.

Thomas tied Keldrick Williams (2003-2005) for fifth all-time in school history in rushing yards with 2,632.

Kourtney Berry led the ASU defense with nine tackles including a half tackle for a loss.

The Bulldogs were led by quarterback De’Angelo Ballard (19 carries, 101 yards and 19-of-35 passing for 290 yards, 2 TDs) and Jordan Bentley (15 carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs).

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