BIRMINGHAM — In a truly classic Magic City Classic, the Bulldogs beat Alabama State 42-41 in the first overtime game in its 75-year history.
And, after the two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards in offense, it came down to the kicking game.
In overtime, ASU struck first and took a 41-35 lead on a 14-yard run by Marq Beckwith. But David Albert’s point-after attempt was wide right.
The Bulldogs threw some suspense into their possession. Runs by Tevin McKenzie (two yards) and quarterback De’Angelo Ballard (five yards) book-ended an incomplete pass, setting up a fourth-and-3 on the 18-yard-line.
Ballard was pressured on the play but found Jonathan Dorsey alone in the endzone for the tying score.
Then it was time for the left foot of Nick Carden. The junior had already hit a pair of field goals, including a 30-yarder to end the first half.
Holder Damion May took the high snap and placed the ball down as Carden stepped and took his follow-through.
And then mayhem broke loose as the celebration began.
The kick capped a game which saw the Bulldogs come from behind to take the lead, only the see the Hornets go on top 35-27 at the end of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs began a drive as the quarter ended and capped it with a one-yard touchdown run by McKenzie. It was his second touchdown of the game – the first a 37-yard scoring pass from Ballard to open the scoring in the third quarter.
A&M then went for the two-point conversion and it was Ballard hitting Kalias Robertson. who fought through a pair of would-be tacklers to get into the endzone and tie the score at 35-35 with 8:16 left in the game. The touchdown drive went 65 yards in 16 plays and ate up 6:49 off the clock.
For the game, Ballard led the Bulldogs offense with 101 yards rushing and 290 yards passing. Jordan Bentley rushed for 80 yards on 15 carries and a pair of touchdowns.
McKenzie had six catches for 76 yards, four carries for 18 yards and two touchdowns. McKenzie’s TD catch came on a deflection off Ladarion Heath in the endzone.
Dorsey had four catches for 75 yards and a touchdown and Heath had four catches for 72 yards.
On the defensive side, Kenneth Davis had 12 total tackles (seven solo and five assists) and Tere Calloway added an interception in the endzone.
The Bulldogs will host Grambling State next Saturday on Military Appreciation Day and Senior Day as they salute the upperclassmen who will be making their final appearance in Louis Crews Stadium. Kickoff is 2 p.m.
Courtesy: AAMU Athletics