MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The last time Jackson State and Alabama State met with the Tigers nationally-ranked, the Hornets were able to pull the upset in 2011.
Ten years later, Jackson State came into the contest riding the same type of momentum but left with the same result as Alabama State upended No. 21 Jackson State 35-28 at ASU Stadium Saturday.
The loss was the first for Jackson State (3-1, 2-1 SWAC) and it came in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN2.
The game wasn’t decided until the final minutes after a Jackson State touchdown and the subsequent extra point tied the contest at 28-all with just 1:42 to play. However, an unsportsmanlike penalty against Jalon Jones after the score moved the kickoff back to the 20-yard line and Alabama State responded with a big kickoff return by Ezra Gray to set the Hornets up at the 50.
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It didn’t take long for Alabama State (2-1, 2-1 SWAC) to get on the board as Gray took the handoff from Ryan Nettles and made one move, dancing his way to the end zone with 1:29 to play and putting Alabama State up 35-28.
The game ended on an interception by cornerback Jeffrey Scott at the Alabama State 36 yard line right in front of the Tigers’ bench as he wrestled the ball away from the receiver.
Gray finished the night with 195 yards on the ground on 23 carries for Alabama State, who finished the night with 466 total yards of offense against a Jackson State team coming in giving up just 265 yards per game on defense. Ryan Nettles finished the night 27-for-42 through the air for 257 yards including connecting with eight different receivers.
Michael Jefferson ended the night with eight receptions for 76 yards, while Terrance Ellis finished with a career-high five receptions and Jeremiah Hixon four for 63 yards. Irshaad Davis led the Hornets defensively with nine tackles, including eight solo stops.
Jackson State jumped on top in the contest on a 31-yard field goal off the foot of Glenn Misiak with 10:01 remaining in the opening half, before Hixon hauled in a 35-yard touchdown with 6:57 remaining in the half to put Alabama State up 7-3.
After another Jackson State field goal, Alabama State went up 14-6 with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Nettles to Jahod Booker with just 34 seconds remaining in the first half.
Courtesy: Alabama State Athletics