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Alabama A&M’s Ulysses Banks runs for a touchdown in the first half of the Bulldogs’ 13-9 win over Alabama State in the Magic City Classic in Birmingham on Saturday.
AP photo by Linda Stelter
Alabama A&M’s Ulysses Banks runs for a touchdown in the first half of the Bulldogs’ 13-9 win over Alabama State in the Magic City Classic in Birmingham on Saturday.

Banks proves to be A&M’s magic bullet

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Ulysses Banks ran 25 times for 132 yards and Alabama A&M’s only touchdown as the Bulldogs defeated Alabama State 13-9 Saturday in the Magic City Classic.

Banks won the battle of two of the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s top rushers as the Hornets’ Jay Peck had 53 yards on 11 carries and also scored a touchdown.

The game wasn’t decided until Al Donaldson intercepted a pass from Alabama State’s Chris Mitchell with 1:41 to play after the Hornets had driven 55 yards in 8 plays to the Alabama A&M 29-yard line.

Announced attendance was 68,593 at Birmingham’s Legion Field.

That’s the largest crowd in the history of the annual game between the in-state rivals.

Alabama A&M (6-1. 4-1 SWAC) took a 10-0 lead in the second quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Gerald Stockdale and a 1-yard run by Banks.

But the Hornets (4-3, 3-3) narrowed that lead to 10-9 at halftime on a 26-yard field goal by Jeremy Fetterhoff and a 1-yard run by Peck with 32 seconds left in the half. Avery Moland blocked Fetterhoff’s extra point attempt.

The defenses took over in the second half as the only score came at 7:10 in the game on a 20-yard field goal by Alabama A&M’s Jeremy Licea.

A&M’s Kelcy Luke, one of the league’s top passers, completed 18-of-30 passes for 151 yards. Thomas Harris caught 6 passes for 68 yards for the Bulldogs, who lead the SWAC’s east division.

The game continued the Magic City Classic’s tradition of close finishes. Coming into Saturday’s contest, the last five meetings between the Bulldogs and the Hornets had been decided by a total of 21 points.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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