In a game that had a lot of buildup due to an altercation that happened a year ago between Deion Sanders and Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson, Jackson State fell to the Hornets by a score of 24-19 on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers (4-3, 2-2 SWAC), now led by new head coach T.C. Taylor with Sanders off at Colorado, got off to a slow start during the Homecoming matchup with Alabama State (3-3, 2-2) jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Midway through the second, a 46-yard field goal from Dylan Wasson followed up by a forced three-and-out and a rushing touchdown from Jacobian Morgan made the score 10-10 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, Jackson State took their first lead of the day off another Wasson field goal, this time from 45 yards out. The Hornets waited until early in the fourth quarter to respond with a touchdown and retake the lead. A bad Tigers punt gave Alabama State a short field, which they took advantage of to go up 24-13.
Jackson State responded with a 92-yard drive capped off by a rushing touchdown from Desmond Moultrie with a little over three minutes left to play. A two-point conversion to try to make it a three-point game failed as Alabama State got the ball back.
The Tiger defense stood strong and forced the Hornets to punt, giving the offense one last chance at a two-minute drill to win the game. Led by Brown, Jackson State marched the ball down to the Alabama State 25-yard-line but with a field goal out of the picture, a failed Hail Mary ended the contest and secured the Hornets’ first win over Jackson State since the shortened COVID-19 season in spring of 2021.
Leading the box score was Brown with 234 yards on 30 of 44 passing. Fabian McCoy had 79 yards on eight receptions, while Moultrie had 65 yards on 10 carries. For the fifth game in a row, the defense forced a turnover with Ke’Vroc Wiggins, Jr., and Anthony Petty each grabbing an interception. However, the offense lost three fumbles on the day.
Jackson State will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 21 against Mississippi Valley State in Itta Bena. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.