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A&M defeats Alabama State in 79th Magic City Classic

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The Alabama State Hornets and Alabama A&M Bulldogs faced off in the 79th Magic City Classic Saturday, April 17. (Source: Lorenzo Walcott/WSFA 12 News)

WSFA Staff   

 Alabama A&M defeated Alabama State 38-14 in the 79th annual Magic City Classic. The game was rescheduled from the fall and featured no tailgating and no bands.

A&M (4-0, 3-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) wins its first Eastern Division crown since 2011 and will face Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the SWAC title game, May 1. Both teams are undefeated and hosting duties will not be finalized until after the final week of the season.

The Bulldogs also improve their record to 43-39-3 all-time in the Magic City Classic and 3-0 under Maynor.

Alabama State, which finished the season 3-3, 3-2 SWAC, was held scoreless in the second half.

The first half started as a back-and-forth battle between the Hornets and the Bulldogs. The Hornets were the first to strike. Jacory Merritt got it in from one-yard out for the touchdown.

The Bulldogs answered back with seconds left in the opening quarter. Gary Quarles with a seven-yard reception. The Hornets and Bulldogs were tied up 7-7 heading into the second quarter.

Alabama State would take the lead again. Quarterback Ryan Nettle was out with an injury, but backup Chris Scott found with wide receiver Michael Jefferson for his first score of the season.

But, Alabama A&M picked up speed. Quarles makes his way to the endzone for the touchdown. The Hornets and Bulldogs were tied up 14-14.

The Bulldogs would answer again before the first half was over. Spencer Corey drilled a 46-yard field goal to get the Bulldogs in the lead 17-14 heading into halftime.

With over 12 minutes left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs would extend their lead with a touchdown pass. With over three minutes left in the third, the Bulldogs increased their lead on a passing touchdown.

The Bulldogs had the lead 31-14 heading into the final quarter of the game.

With over 12 minutes left to play, Alabama A&M would strike one more time with a short touchdown pass.

The Hornets finished the season 3-3.