JACKSON, Miss. | Alabama State rebounded from a conference loss last week, running away from Jackson State 31-16 in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play Saturday afternoon on homecoming at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Alabama State (3-3, 2-1 SWAC) used a three-touchdown day from quarterback Jett Even on a day in which he played for the injured KHA’Darris Davis. The grad transfer scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground, and one through the air to lead the Hornets.
He finished the day 15-of-26 passing for 189 yards, with one interception and one touchdown; while also running seven times for seven yards and two touchdowns. He hit Jahod Booker and Tyrek Allen on a combined 12 passes, with Booker catching seven for 106 yards and touchdown. Allen finished the day with five receptions and 47 yards.
On the ground, Alabama State finished the day with 149 yards rushing, with Ezra Gray and Jacory Merritt recording 69 yards each in the win. The total for Gray leaves the senior just 41 yards short of 1,000 for his career.
Defensively, Alabama State kept Jackson State on their heels as they allowed just 250 yards of total offense, with 80 of that coming on the last drive as time was expiring and the game was in hand. Jackson State total just 66 yards on the ground and 184 yards through the air, while giving up three sacks and turning the ball over twice.
The Hornets got on the board first when Gray found a seam and scored from 13 yards out for a 7-0 lead with 10:31 remaining in the opening quarter. Following a Jackson State field goal near the end of the first quarter, Alabama State pushed the lead to 11 at 14-3 when Even scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns from 10 yards out with 9:28 to play it the half.
After Jackson State trimmed the lead to 14-10 at the break, the Hornets responded with a 13-play, 77-yard drive culminating with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jahod Booker with 7:19 to play in the third. They added a 43-yard field goal from Hunter Hanson to push the lead to 24-10 heading to the fourth quarter.
Even scored his second touchdown of the day on the ground with 9:34 to play from two yards out to seal the win. Jackson State scored as time expired for the final margin.
Alabama State returns to action in two weeks in Birmingham at the Magic City Classic against Alabama A&M. The game kicks at 2:30 pm from Birmingham’s historic Legion Field and can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on the Hornet Sports Network.
The three touchdowns from Even were a season-high for the transfer, serving in a back-up role most of the year until Saturday.
Jahod Booker caught a career-high seven passes for a career-high 106 yards and a touchdown Saturday. He and Tyrek Allen combined for 12 receptions for 153 yards, while three other receivers combined for three catches (36 yards).
Gray rushed for 69 yards in the game, entering the game with 890 career rushing yards. He now stands at 959, leaving him just 41 shy of 1,000 for his career.
Merritt and Gray combined to carry the ball 40 times for 138 yards in the win.
Alabama State pressured the Tigers all day, recording three sacks and five tackles for loss. They also forced a pair of interceptions in the win and held Jackson State to 184 yards through the air.
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