BIRMINGHAM – Senior quarterback Daniel Duhart had a hand in all five touchdowns to lead Alabama State to a 35-20 win over Alabama A&M in the 74th Magic City Classic.
Duhart completed 12 of his 22 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns while also tying his career-high with three rushing touchdowns while gaining 35 yards on the ground.
Most of the scoring for both teams was done in the first half before the rain starting falling right before halftime. Both teams only scored one touchdown in the third quarter and neither team could cross the goal line in the final quarter as a hard rain dampened both offenses.
The Hornets finished the game with 444 total yards with 228 through the air and 216 rushing. Khalid Thomas rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 20 carries to lead ASU’s rushing game.
The Hornets led 28-14 at halftime and scored their only points of the second half on their first possession. ASU went 50 yards in five plays with Duhart finishing it off with a one yard run.
For his efforts Duhart was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the game. It was the second time he had received the game honor. He also received the honor in 2013 when he threw for his career-high 301 yards and two scores.
The Hornets defense gave up 404 yards, but was able to come up with a turnover and forced change of possessions after stopping the Bulldogs on three fourth down attempts.
Kourtney Berry was named the game’s Defensive Most Valuable Player after recording a team-high 13 tackles. He also had tackle for lost yardage and recovered a fumble. He officially went over 100 total tackles on the season as his 13 tackles now gives him 101 on the season.
The game couldn’t have started any better for the Hornets as Shawan Parks returned the opening kick to the ASU 42 yard line. From there it took two plays for ASU to travel the required 58 yards. The first play was a 43 yard pass to DeMario Bell and Duhart took the final 15 yards for the first score. It only took 30 seconds for the Hornets to break into the scoring column.
Duhart added another one yard touchdown run just six minutes later to put the Hornets up 14-0.
AAMU bounced right back with two scores of their own to even the score at 14. Brand Eldemire had two runs, one from nine yards and the second from 11 yards out.
The Hornets then scored the final two touchdowns as Duhart hit Brandon Barnes from 60 yards out and then hit Joshua Davis on a diving 18 yard reception to send ASU into the locker room with a 28-14 halftime lead.
The Hornets evened their overall record at 4-4 and now stand 4-3 in the East Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
ASU will hit the road for the final time next week when they travel to Jackson to face the Tigers Nov. 7 at 6 p.m.
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