Alabama State defeats Alabama A&M 31-16 in 83rd Magic City Classic

Courtesy of Alabama State Athletics

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | Alabama State University scored 21 points on special teams along with a second half shutout by its defense to claim a 31-16 win over Alabama A&M University in the 83nd McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola on Saturday at Legion Field. 

The Hornets claimed its second straight McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola. 

Score: Alabama State 31 | Alabama A&M 16
Records: Hornets (4-3, 3-2 SWAC) | Bulldogs (4-4, 2-3 SWAC)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 | Kickoff: 2:32 PM
Location: Legion Feld | Birmingham, Ala.
Series: Alabama A&M leads 43-36-1
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How It Happened

  • Damon Stewart led Alabama State’s passing attack with 202 yards through the air, tossing one touchdown without throwing an interception.
  • Ja’Won Howell totaled 52 yards to lead the Hornets’ ground attack and added one touchdown in the game, picking up 5.8 yards per carry along the way. Marcus Harris IIalso tacked on 26 yards on the ground.
  • Stewart’s most prolific target in the ballgame was Kisean Johnson, who caught four passes for 82 yards and one score.
  • Amon Scarbrough led the Alabama State defensive effort, totaling six tackles, one interception, and one recovered fumble. Adrian Maddox added six tackles, 1.0 TFL, one sack, two pass breakups, and one forced fumble and Stefon Young-Rolle had 1.0 TFL and one sack in the win.
  • Both teams forced two turnovers in Saturday’s contest, with Alabama State turning those takeaways into seven points.
  • Alabama State’s defense held up against Alabama A&M’s offense, giving up 290 total yards.
  • Alabama A&M scored to tie the game at 7-all, but Alabama State responded with 3:34 left in the second quarter to go ahead 10-7.Alabama A&M responded and went up 14-10 before the Hornets got on the scoreboard again on a 47-yard touchdown reception to Johnson to jump back in front 17-14.
  • Alabama State kept building its lead, scoring again with 5:02 left in the fourth quarter to go up 31-14. Alabama State didn’t score again in the game and Alabama A&M tacked on two more points to finish off the scoring.

Game Notes

  • Birmingham native was named to MCC’s Offensive MVP. 
  • Amon Scarbrough was named the MCC’s Defensive MVP.
  • James Burgess returned his second blocked field goal for a touchdown this season.
  • McMinn’s punt return for a touchdown was the first since his McMinn’s punt return for a score in the 2021 Turkey Day Classic agianst Tuskegee. 
  • Alabama A&M outgained Alabama State 290-287 in the contest.
  • Alabama State had their highest scoring quarter in the second period, when they put up 10 points.
  • Alabama State converted 5 of 14 third downs while Alabama A&M was successful on 3 of 16.
  • Colton Adams led the Hornets with 12 tackles.
  • Alabama State allowed just seven points in three Alabama A&M trips to the red zone.
  • The Hornets took potential points off the board by forcing two turnovers on their own half of the field.
  • The Hornets didn’t allow a sack in the contest.
  • Alabama State won the time of possession battle 30:03 to 29:57.
  • Damon Stewart completed 73.9% of his passes on the day, going 17-for-23 while averaging 8.8 yards per attempt.
  • Xavier Lankford led the Bulldogs passing attack, completing 22 of his 40 attempts for 231 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
  • Jacolby Hewitt was Alabama A&M’s leading receiver with 86 yards

Up Next: Alabama State plays Grambling State in the 2023 Port City Classic on Saturday in Mobile, Ala. at 4 p.m.

Scoring Summary

1st QuarterASUAAM
ASU10:01 – ASU – McMinn,Robert 48 yd punt return (John,Jayden kick)70
AAM03:03 – AAM – Lankford,Xavier 1 yd run (Barbosa,Victor kick), 5 plays, 2 yards, TOP 02:3077
2nd QuarterASUAAM
ASU03:34 – ASU – John,Jayden 26 yd field goal 9 plays, 46 yards, TOP 05:36107
AAM00:19 – AAM – Gardner,Terrell 39 yd pass from Lankford,Xavier (Barbosa,Victor kick) 8 plays, 70 yards, TOP 03:071014
ASU00:00 – ASU – Johnson,Kisean 47 yd pass from Stewart,Damon (John,Jayden kick) 2 plays, 61 yards, TOP 00:171714
3rd QuarterASUAAM
ASU11:40 – ASU – Burgess,James 60 yd blocked field goal return (John,Jayden kick)2414
4th QuarterASUAAM
ASU05:02 – ASU – Howell,Ja’Won 8 yd run (John,Jayden kick), 8 plays, 72 yards, TOP 04:253114
AAM00:03 – AAM – 0 yd safety3116

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