Aqeel Glass' 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Jenkins with three seconds left lifts the Bulldogs to a win in the inaugural Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

CANTON  The Alabama A&M Bulldogs were quite familiar with the predicament they faced in the latter stages of Sunday's Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

Needing a score with less than a minute left, it was time for head coach Connell Maynor to see if his players could execute what they always work on.

"We practice hurry-hurry situations (for the) end of the half, end of the game, every day," Maynor said. "We just worked on one Thursday. Fifty seconds, we were down two points and we started on the 40-yard line."

The Bulldogs worked it to a T in their season opener against Morehouse.

Quarterback Aqeel Glass drove Alabama A&M 61 yards in six plays and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Jenkins to lead the Bulldogs past the Maroon Tigers 35-30 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. A crowd estimated at 6,000 saw Morehouse rally from 18 down in the second half and take the lead with just over a minute left. It was just enough time for the Bulldogs to remember what they worked on Thursday.

"I told the guys, 'Listen, this is what we practice every day,'" Maynor said. "'Just relax, get up to the line, execute and do what we do every day in practice.'

"The guys were calm. They're used to that situation. And they were prepared."

Glass hit four straight passes to quickly put Alabama A&M in position to possibly win it with a field goal. Odieu Hiliare caught the final two to push the Bulldogs down to the Morehouse 20-yard line. The only pass Glass did not complete was when he intentionally spiked the ball to stop the clock with nine seconds left.

Alabama A&M still took a timeout to set up Glass' winning touchdown pass to Jenkins.

"The offensive line did their job blocking," Maynor said. "And Aqeel Glass ... he was the Aqeel Glass we thought he was the last series."

Morehouse, an NCAA Division II team, sat on the brink of a memorable come-from-behind win over the NCAA FCS Bulldogs.

Quarterback Jalen Brown threw touchdown passes to Santo Dunn and Tremell Gooden to cut a 28-10 Alabama A&M lead to 28-24 early in the fourth quarter. A 35-yard pass from Brown to Gooden on fourth-and-17 set up Dunn's 1-yard touchdown run that gave Morehouse a 30-28 lead with 1:01 left.

The Maroon Tigers missed the extra point. It was the first opening for the Bulldogs going into their final drive.

"That hurt us, when we missed the extra point," Morehouse head coach Rich Freeman said. "We could have been up three and been a little more comfortable.

"The psyche is a funny thing. When they know they (A&M) can kick a field goal to win the game, that does something to a kid when he's trying to play defense. If you know if we can just hold them to a field goal to force overtime, the kids play a little more aggressive. I feel like it could have been a different outcome (if we had made the extra point)."

Brown was 10 of 14 for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He replaced starter Michael Sims in the second half. Despite throwing an interception, Sims was an effective 17 of 26 for 183 yards and one touchdown.

Freeman said they switched to Brown to change up the pace.

"I’m gonna tell you we have two really good quarterbacks," Freeman said. "Mike is our starting quarterback, no question about it. I just wanted to change the pace over the course of the game. I felt like we got a little stagnant. We knew Jalen would be able to be more of a dual threat and as you can see, he came in and hit some quarterback runs. Again, we're not just confident that he can run. He can throw the football as well, and I'm glad he was able to show that and do some things down the stretch.

Glass finished 28 of 44 for 397 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. He threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Zabrian Moore on Alabama A&M's first snap of the game, but couldn't build off that until the second half.

"The first play he threw a touchdown pass, but the next three series we had the ball in their territory and didn't get a first down," Maynor said. "Aqeel made some bad decisions with the ball and who he was going to. He just didn't play well right there and it stalled us.

"When he did what he was supposed to, he's the best quarterback in our league."

 

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