Alabama State fought hard but came up short in falling to Eastern Michigan, 14-7 on Saturday.
The Hornets offense moved the ball often into Eagles' territory but could score just once time in five drives. Defensively, ASU allowed just two scoring drives and made two takeaways.
"It was a great opportunity for our guys to come and take our show on the road," head coach Reggie Barlow said. "We fought hard, played hard and we wanted this victory. The effort was good. We'll go back and look at the tape and make corrections."
The Hornets' offense drove the ball into Eagles territory on several four first half drives, only to be slowed by penalties and sacks.
Starting QB Greg Jenkins was injured late in the first half with a hip injury and did not return. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 100 yards.
Devin Dominquez entered the game late in the first half, and completing 11 of 19 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown.
The Eagles scored on the opening drive of each half. A 12-play 80-yard drive ended with Alex Gillette's 13-yard scoring pass to Nick Olds in the back of the end zone to give EMU a 7-0 lead with 2:47 to play in the first quarter.
On the opening drive of the second half, Gillette had a key 58-yard run on third-and-seven to the Hornets' eight-yard line. Two plays later, Dominique Sherrer scored on a six-yard run for a 14-0 Eastern Michigan lead with 11:42 to play in the third quarter.
Carlton Jones' forced fumble was recovered by Saaed Lee to set up the Hornets' first touchdown.
Henry diving catch on a 28-yard pass from Dominguez down the far sideline moved the Hornets into the red zone for the first time. Following a penalty, Dominguez threw a strike over the middle to T.C. McWilliams on a 22-yard scoring pass to cut the deficit 14-7 with 5:18 to play in the third quarter.
On Alabama State's ensuing possession, ASU drove from the one-yard line to the 49 before sacks halted the drive. The Hornets would not threaten on the three drives of the game.
WR Nick Andrews caught nine passes for 62 yards and moved into sixth place in Hornets' history in receiving yards with 1,836. McWilliams caught five passes for 73 yards and one touchdown. Nehemiah Henry caught three passes for 78 yards.
Defensively, FS Kejuan Riley made a career-high 11 tackles. Lee made a career-high nine tackles with two pass breakups and his second-career fumble recovery. LBs Leland Baker and Jakari Wilcoxson each made seven tackles.
The Hornets will play their home opener next Saturday vs. Grambling at 7 p.m.