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HBCU Football Weekend: Magic City Classic kicks off

Alabama A&M and Alabama State is one of the oldest rivalry games in the country. (Provided Photo)
By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times

It’s one of the oldest rivalry games in the country. Everybody in Birmingham knows what time it is. It’s Magic City Classic time. Alabama Agriculture & Mechanical University (2-2 conference, 3-3 overall) will face Alabama State University (1-1 conference, 2-4 overall) in the 77th annual Magic City Classic.

This long time classic between these two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be played at Legion Field in Birmingham on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m. Last year, Alabama State came away with a 21-16 victory over A&M.

This is a meaningful game in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) standings as well as bragging rights for HBCUs in Alabama. There should be some high level and exciting college football played in this matchup.

Alabama A&M is led by quarterback Aqeel Glass who has done a nice job of running the offense. Glass has completed 130-of-227 passes for 1,383 yards while throwing 12 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

His top receivers are Brian Jenkins Jr., Marceles Clash, Zabrian Moore and Kendric Johnson, who has played extremely well. He has 32 receptions for 362 yards and two touchdowns. Jenkins has also been named to the watch list for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the freshman of the year in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision).

A&M running back Trevon Walters has given the team a consistent ground attack. Walters has 57 carries for 376 yards and four touchdowns. He’s averaging an impressive seven yards a carry.

Defensively, A&M will rely on linebacker Armoni Holloway and safety Dylan Hamilton to come up with some key stops. Holloway has 63 total and 28 solo tackles and two sacks. Hamilton has 51 total and 25 solo tackles.

Speaking of defense, Alabama State linebacker Darron Johnson has played some great football. Johnson leads the Hornets in tackles with 46 total and 18 solos. Defensive back Dennis Roberts has been a great defender in the secondary. Roberts has two interceptions with 27 total and 15 solo tackles.

Offensively, the Hornets have a solid running attack with Ezra Gray the leading rusher with 287 yards on 67 carries. Gray is averaging 4.3 yards a rush.

This HBCU classic should be a good one.


In the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Tuskegee University (5-1 conference) will visit Central State (2-2 conference) on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Wilberforce, Ohio. The kickoff will be at noon.

Tuskegee quarterback Ahmad Deramus was named the SIAC Offensive Player of the Week. Deramus completed 12-of-18 passes for 234 yards with four touchdowns in Tuskegee’s 37-0 win over Kentucky State.

Miles College will look to get back on the winning track following its 15-14 loss to Lane College. Miles College (2-3) will travel to Atlanta to play Clark Atlanta (1-4) on Saturday, Oct. 27. The kickoff will be at 1 p.m.

Quarterback Daniel Smith continues to provide steady play for the Golden Bears. Smith connected on 16-of-31 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort to Lane College.