MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama State Hornets entered their match-up against Jackson State looking to keep a foot in the door of the SWAC Conference race.
But things didn’t go as ASU wanted as the Hornets (3-6, 2-3) lost 20-2 to Jackson State (4-4, 3-2).
It was all Jackson State in the first half. The Tigers led the Hornets 17-0 at the break, scoring their second touchdown of the game with less than 30 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
After the Hornets were forced to punt to open the third, the defense was looking to hang in the fight. The Hornets stopped the Tigers on fourth down and turned them over with plenty of time left in the third quarter.
A stagnant third quarter ensued with neither team being able to score.
In the early moments of the fourth quarter, the Alabama State defense looked to stop Jackson State yet again on fourth down. The Tigers attempted to draw the ASU defense offside but to no avail. After a timeout, Jackson State came out and lined up to go for it again, and on 4th and 1, the Tigers converted. The Hornets held on to force a Jackson State field goal, but still trailed 20-0 with 10:23 to play in the game.
As Alabama State looked poised to answer with its first score of the game, third string quarterback Chris Scott was intercepted by Jackson State defender Alex Tonea on a pass in the end zone, but in a wacky turn of events, the Hornets ended up coming out of the situation with two points. A long replay review determined Alabama State was to be awarded two points after a foul called against the Tigers occurred in the end zone.
The interception at the 6:57 mark in the fourth quarter looked to seal the fate of the Hornets, but the safety still left them down three scores but with a shot at 20-2.
After the safety, Alabama State was given the ball back and needed six points out of the next drive to have any chance of getting back in the game. The Hornets worked their way down into the red zone but were pushed into a 4th and 10 situation from the 10-yard line. With no other option but to go for it, Scott took the shotgun snap and looked for his intended receiver he fired a pass that was unable to be caught. His receiver just simply dropped the ball.
That missed opportunity all but doomed the Hornets as Jackson State needed only to run out the clock, but ASU was able to turn the Tigers over on the first play of their drive, forcing a fumble. The offense looked to break into the end zone again but were held at bay, shooting themselves in the foot.
Alabama State looked to have scored but an illegal hands to the face call wiped out their six points and backed them into a deep fourth down attempt. ASU was unable to convert and turned the ball back over to Jackson State with 3:47 remaining.
The Tigers ran out the remainder of the clock, sinking Alabama State’s hopes of playing in the SWAC Conference championship.
Alabama State hits the road for Prairie View, Texas, next Saturday where they will face Prairie View A&M at 1 p.m.