Mistakes, turnovers cost Bulldogs in Magic City Classic

Alabama State defeats Alabama A&M in 82nd Magic City Classic
Alabama State defeats Alabama A&M in the 82nd Magic City Classic
Published: Oct. 28, 2023 at 9:11 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Turnovers and mistakes will cost any College Football team. When those turnovers and mistakes happen in a bitter rivalry, it makes a defeat that much more difficult to process.

Alabama A&M surrendered a punt return for a Touchdown, a blocked field goal and a Hail Mary as the Hornets won their second consecutive Magic City Classic, knocking off Alabama A&M, 31-16 in front of 69,210 fans inside Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

“I mean we can’t give a team touchdown and let special teams score touchdowns,” Alabama A&M Head Coach Connell Maynor said after the game. “We said if we take are of the ball on offense and give them short fields, then we would win the football game. And we didn’t do that. And I said we needed to make a play on special teams, and we gave them a play on special teams.”

Alabama A&M would take a four point lead in the second quarter after a Fourth Down Conversion, as Xavier Lankford connected with Terrell Gardner for a 39 yard Touchdown giving the Bulldogs a 14-10 lead with 19 seconds left.

Alabama State would respond with a Hail Mary pass from Quarterback Damon Stewart who lofted a 55-yard pass into the end zone, connecting with Kisean Johnson.

The Hornets would add another score after Alabama A&M kicker Victoria Barbosa’s field goal attempt in the third quarter was blocked and returned 53 yards for the score by Tyree Saunders.

“We didn’t do the little things,” Maynor added. “Special teams hurt us. Hail Mary before the half hurt us. Had the momentum, we just scored, had the momentum going into halftime. We should have a four point lead, instead they go two or three plays go for a Hail Mary and score a touchdown. And then of course we come out get a big stop after half, we were in good position, but, we take a sack instead of throwing the ball away.”

Alabama A&M (4-4, 2-3 SWAC) will face Florida A&M Saturday November 4 at Louis Crews Stadium. With the Bulldogs loss, the Rattlers clinch the SWAC Eastern Division and will play in the SWAC Championship game December 2nd.

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