HOUSTON, TX (WSFA) - Alabama State is now on the board with is first win of the season after going on the road and taking down Texas Southern in SWAC play. The Hornets pulled out the 23-16 victory on Saturday afternoon, improving to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the SWAC.
After trailing for much of the first half, State regained the lead on a 67-yard strike from Darrly Pearson Jr. to Willis White. The touchdown and extra point gave the Hornets a 20-16 lead with seconds to play in the third quarter.
Alabama State added a field goal in the fourth quarter, as well played strong defense all second half to secure the victory. In a last chance, desperation attempt, Texas Southern was intercepted on a Hail Mary attempt by the Hornets' TJ Presley to seal the game for ASU.
The win marked Interim Head Coach Donald Hill-Eley's firs win in his first game. Afterwards, he reflected on a week that led to this moment.
"It's been a long week, we are drained. The players responded when we got down 14 points, and you get the feeling, 'Here we go again,'" said Hill-Eley. "But the kids kept fighting and fighting, and they found a way to win."
Hill-Eley said it was good to see the players on his team play for the team, especially since the Hornets now head into a bye week.
Pearson connected on 9-of-11 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hornets behind center. As a team, ASU racked up 91 yards rushing led by Chett LeVay's 47 yards. In the receiving department, Willis White caught two passes for 72 yards, one of those catches giving the Hornets a 19-16 lead before the extra point.
After the bye, the Hornets will return to action on the 28th of October. ASU will play Alabama A&M in Birmingham. That game will kick at 2:30 p.m.