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Alabama A&M snaps 3 game losing skid with 42-28 victory over Alabama State at Magic City Classic

Alabama A&M notched 4th straight victory over Alabama State. Bulldogs improve to 4-3 on the season (2-3 SWAC.) **Highlight correction: ASU QB is Ryan Nettles**

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The last time the Alabama A&M bulldogs won a game this season was back in September when they defeated Tuskegee, 45-35 in the 2021 Gulf Coast Challenge. On Saturday that team finally snap its losing skid with the 42-28 victory over Alabama State in the 80th annual Magic City Classic. 

It was the Bulldogs 4th straight victory over Coach Donald Hill-Eley and the Hornets. A much needed win for an A&M team that is coming off a trio of key SWAC loses, including Jackson State and Florida A&M University. Head Coach Connell Maynor says this win was a confidence boost his team needed. 

“We lost two games that we fell we could’ve easily won so we felt like we were a 5-1 football team coming into this football game and we played that way today.” 

The Bulldogs struck first in the opening quarter. Aqeel Glass connected with Dee Anderson on the 11 yard line as the pair completed the 37 yard play for the eventual 7-0 A&M lead. Alabama State didn’t hesitate to come back with an answer, Hornets quarterback Ryan Nettles connected with Wallace Corker on a 34-yard pass to knot things up 7-7 just minutes into the 2nd quarter. 

Alabama A&M’s defense stepped up tremendously in Saturdays contest. On the Hornets next possession Nettles led his team down to the 28-yard line only to get picked off by Ja’Marian Green. 

Offense capitalized on the transition when Aqeel Glass found a open Abdul-Fati Ibrahim 

who took it in for the 55-yard touchdown. Bulldogs took a 14-7 lead with less than 5 minutes to go in the half. Soon, running back Gary Quarles would get in on the scoring action as he rushed for a 17 yard score up the gut and the eventual 21-7 lead. Quarles rushed for 126 yards on just 20 carries for two scores. 

Alabama State cut into the deficit before heading to the locker room. The Hornets rushed down to the 4-yard line then that’s when Nettles connected with Kisean Johnson to pull this game within one possession. 

It would be 21-14 Bulldogs heading to the half but ASU knotted it up minutes into the third, credit to Hornets running back Ezra Gray on the game tying touchdown. 

But A&M stayed thorough notching back to back scores including a 37-yard Odieu Hilarie go ahead touchdown followed by Quarles’ second rushing touchdown on the night, for the 35-21 lead in the third. 

Hornets came knocking and the door would fly open when Nettles dropped a 13-yard touchdown pass to Wallace Corker for the eventual 35-28 lead. However, Alabama A&M would wrap this thing with a bow when tight end Kendric Johnson brought it in for the 28-yard score to put the Bulldogs ahead 42-28. 

Quarterback Aqeel Glass completed 20 of 33 pass attempts for 321 yards and four touchdowns. Four different receivers made it into the end-zone Saturday including, Abdul-Fati Ibrahim who led the corps with six catches for 104 yards. Dee Anderson followed with 4 catches for 71 yards while Odieu Hilarie tacked on 54 yards including that 37-yard touchdown. 

Alabama A&M improves to 4-3 on the year (2-3 SWAC.) Next week the Bulldogs host Mississippi Valley State at Louis Crews for the 1 p.m. kickoff.  

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