JACKSON, Miss. – In a history making season for so many reasons, No. 22 Alabama A&M (5-0, 3-0 SWAC) capped it off with one of the biggest wins in program history as they claimed the Spring 2021 Cricket Wireless Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Football Championship with a thrilling 40-33 victory over No. 25 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-1, 4-0 SWAC) on Saturday, May 1.
Trailing 40-26 with just over seven minutes to play, the Golden Lions fought back. Following a fourth down stop by the defense, UAPB drove 72 yards in 11 plays, ending with an 11-yard scoring pass from Skyler Perry to Josh Wilkes to cut the deficit to the final margin with 2:30 remaining.
Strong defense again forced a Bulldog punt, and a nine-yard return by Tyrin Ralph setup the dramatic ending from the Alabama A&M 44-yard line with 37 seconds remaining.
Perry completed a 10-yard pass to Ralph for a first down, then rushed for 12 yards to the AAMU 22-yard line with 23 seconds to play. Following a spike and two incomplete passes, the final pass was intercepted by Alabama A&M in the end zone with six seconds to play to end the Golden Lions’ SWAC Championship goal in heartbreaking fashion as UAPB sought its first league title since 2012.
It is the seventh time in the championship game for A&M as they made the trip previously following the 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 seasons and is just the second SWAC title in program history. In a “déjà vu all over again” moment, the first came on December 16, 2006 when they also defeated UAPB, winning 22-13 also in come-from-behind fashion.
Senior quarterback Aqueel Glass led the A&M attack as he went 24-of-45 for 271 yards and three touchdowns against just one interception. Senior wide receiver Zabrian Moore was on the receiving end of five of those completions for 111 yards and a pair of scores while sophomore wideout Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim had six grabs for 61 yards.
- Stadium: Veterans Memorial
- Location: Jackson, Miss.
- Attendance: 17248
- Duration: 3:45
UAPB: Skyler Perry (231 PASS); Skyler Perry (71 RUSH); DeJuan Miller (69 REC);
AAMU: Glass, Aqeel (271 PASS); Quarles, Gary (69 RUSH); Moore, Zabrian (111 REC);