Alabama State ended the first season of head coach Eddie Robison Jr. at the helm with a thud at New ASU Stadium. The Hornets dropped the 98th Annual Turkey Bowl Classic on Thursday when Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored with 49 seconds left to pull out a 19-14 victory.
With the loss, Alabama State fell to 6-5 in Robinson's initial season at his alma mater. The Hornets had some good moments this season, highlighted by ending a four-game losing streak in the Magic City Classic, but they lost the final two games by a combined 12 points and were 2-4 at home.
In Thursday's game, the Hornets scored all their points in the third quarter to erase a 13-0 halftime deficit. Jacory Merritt scored on a pair of touchdown runs in the third quarter. Merritt scored from three yards out with 12:16 left in the quarter and shook loose for a 50-yard touchdown run at the 5:17 mark. Nathanial Eichner hit the extra point after each touchdown to give the Hornets a 14-13 advantage.
Alabama State missed a couple of fourth-quarter opportunities to pad the lead. The first came on a missed field goal early in the quarter, and the other came after the Hornets drove to the UAPB 20-yard line before losing a fumble with 2:30 remaining.
The Golden Lions responded with a nine-play drive for the game-winning. The Hornets made a big play early in the drive, on first down sack by Nelson Jordan for a nine-yard loss, but the Golden Lions converted on the 2nd-and-19 with a 26-yard pass. The touchdown came on a 14-yard run by Kayvon Britten. Alabama State got just past midfield by Dematrius Davis was sacked on the final play.
Davis had a solid game for the Hornets, going 18 of 30 for 272 yards, but he threw an interception and was sacked four times. Merritt rushed for 91 yards, Santo Dunn added 62 yards on the ground and the Hornets had 212 rushing yards as a team.
Alabama State linebacker Colton Adams had 17 tackles, four tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Cornerback Irshaad Davis had 10 tackles and a pass breakup.
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