Last Updated 12:37 PM, August 28, 2022

Alabama State beats Howard in the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge

Alabama State QB Dematrius Davis stars in 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge
5:58 am, August 28, 2022

Alabama State QB Dematrius Davis talks after the win

NCAA Digital's Stan Becton caught up with Alabama State quarterback Dematrius Davis after the Hornets won the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge. 

Check out the interview below.

5:21 am, August 28, 2022

FINAL: Alabama State beats Howard, 23-13

ATLANTA, GA — Alabama State defeats Howard 23-13 to win the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. wins his debut game as a head coach at any level.

With the win, Alabama State becomes the first SWAC program to win the MEAC/SWAC Challenge since Prairie View A&M in 2018. The MEAC still leads the all-time series 11-5. Alabama State leads Howard in the two schools’ all-time series 2-0, with the last Hornet win coming in 2004.

The game was called with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, during the third weather delay of the game. In total, the game lasted four hours and 40 minutes, from an 8:39 p.m. ET opening kickoff to a 1:20 AM ET end time. Throw in the original 7 p.m. ET kickoff and you have six hours and 19 minutes.

Alabama State quarterback Dematrius Davis was named the Offensive MVP of the game after finishing 17-24 (71 percent) passing for 187 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Davis added 37 yards on the ground.

Howard defensive lineman Jevin Jackson was named Defensive MVP of the game after finishing with six tackles (2 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery. Click or tap here for complete stats from the game.

Below is an updated history of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge

Year Winner Opponent score site attendance
2005 South Carolina State (MEAC) Alabama State (SWAC) 27-14 Birmingham, AL
(Legion Field)
2006 Hampton (MEAC) Grambling State (SWAC) 27-26 (OT) Birmingham, AL
(Legion Field)
2007 Southern (SWAC) Florida A&M (MEAC) 33-27 Birmingham, AL
(Legion Field)
2008 Hampton (MEAC) Jackson State (SWAC) 17-13 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2009 South Carolina State (MEAC) Grambling State (SWAC) 34-31 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2010 Southern (SWAC) Delaware State (MEAC) 37-27 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2011 Bethune-Cookman (MEAC) Prairie View A&M (SWAC) 63-14 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2012 Bethune-Cookman (MEAC) Alabama State (SWAC) 38-28 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2013 Florida A&M (MEAC) Mississippi Valley State (SWAC) 27-10 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2014 North Carolina A&T (MEAC) Alabama A&M (SWAC) 47-13 Orlando, FL
(Bright House Networks Stadium)
2015 South Carolina State (MEAC) Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC) 35-7 Orlando, FL
(Citrus Bowl)
2017 Southern (SWAC) South Carolina State (MEAC) 14-8 Baton Rouge, LA
(Ace W. Mumford Stadium)
2018 Prairie View A&M (SWAC) North Carolina Central (MEAC) 40-24 Atlanta, GA
(Georgia State Stadium)
2019 Bethune-Cookman (MEAC) Jackson State (SWAC) 36-15 Atlanta, GA
(Georgia State Stadium)
2021 North Carolina Central (MEAC) Alcorn State (SWAC) 23-14 Atlanta, GA
(Center Parc Stadium)
2022 Alabama State (SWAC) Howard (MEAC) 23-13 Atlanta, GA
(Center Parc Stadium)
  • 2016's game between South Carolina State and Southern, scheduled for Daytona Beach, FL., was ruled a no contest due to inclement weather.
  • 2020's game between Grambling State and South Carolina State, scheduled for Atlanta, GA., was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2022's game between Alabama State and Howard was ruled final with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter during the game's third weather delay.
4:30 am, August 28, 2022

Weather delay

The 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge is in a third weather delay. When play resumes, Howard will have the ball at the Alabama State 40-yard line with 2:12 to play and all three timeouts. The score is 23-13.
4:13 am, August 28, 2022

Alabama State pulls away! | Alabama State 23, Howard 13 | 4Q - 3:29

Alabama State made a 29-yard field goal to make the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge a two-possession game. 

3:29 remains in this game.

3:59 am, August 28, 2022

Howard fights back! Alabama State 20, Howard 13 | 4Q - 10:01


Howard running back Jarett Hunter tip-toed up the sideline for a 5-yard touchdown run, Howard's first touchdown of the day. The Bison now trail Alabama State by a touchdown with 10 minutes to play in the half. Earlier in the drive, quarterback Quinton Williams scrambled 17 yards to get the Bison into the redzone.

3:50 am, August 28, 2022

🔥 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Record

Howard wide receiver Richie Ilarraza has tied a MEAC/SWAC Challenge record with his seventh catch of the day.
3:47 am, August 28, 2022

Interception Bison! | 4Q: 14:53

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Howard linebacker Terrance Hollon intercepted a pass from Alabama State quarterback Demaritus Davis.

Howard has the ball at its own 46-yard line to start its drive.

3:43 am, August 28, 2022

Third quarter update: Alabama State 20, Howard 6

Alabama State leads Howard by 14 points entering the fourth quarter. 

Alabama State will open the quarter with a 3rd-and-5 from the Howard 47-yard line.

3:23 am, August 28, 2022

Touchdown Hornets! Alabama State 20, Howard 6 | 3Q - 4:06


After a slow start to the third quarter, Alabama State running back Jacory Merritt found the endzone, running 21 yards for the score.

The touchdown run was set up by a 61-yard pass from quarterback Myles Crawley to wide receiver Isaiah Scott. In total, it was a nine-play 99-yard scoring drive for the Hornets, a MEAC/SWAC Challenge record for the longest drive.

2:52 am, August 28, 2022

First half recap


Alabama State leads Howard 13-6 after the first half.

Alabama State has been led by quarterback Dematrius Davis' efficient passing. He's completed 75 percent of his passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Davis has shown great elusiveness on his dropbacks, despite Howard constantly creating pressure. He's also shown escapability, rushing for 18 first-half yards to lead the team. However, Davis' does have one fumble on the day.

Howard scored three points off Davis' fumble. All six Bison points have come from the foot of kicker Dylan West. However, West ended the half with a miss from 30 yards out.

The Bison offense has hurt themselves throughout the first half. Despite leading the game in time of possession and total yards, Howard has five penalties for 45 yards, with almost all of the penalties coming at crucial points in Bison drives, stalling momentum. Quarterback Quinton Williams has played well with a clean pocket, but when outside the pocket — by design or scramble — Williams has struggled, as shown by his one first-half interception.

For both teams, the secondary leads the way defensively. For Howard, safety Kenny Gollop leads the team with 5 tackles (4 solo), adding a sack and two tackles for loss. For Alabama State, cornerback Keenan Issac leads the team with 7 tackles (5 solo) and safety Adrian Maddox has 4 tackles to go with his interception.

2:48 am, August 28, 2022

Watch the band's halftime performance

Even during the halftime, the show continues at the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Click or tap here to watch the bands perform at halftime.

2:46 am, August 28, 2022

Halftime: Alabama State 13, Howard 6

A missed Bison field goal takes us into halftime with Alabama State leading Howard 13-6.
2:43 am, August 28, 2022

Blocked Punt | 2Q - 0:16

Howard defensive tackle Jevin Jackson blocked Alabama State punter Aubrey Grace's punt. The ball was caught in the air by Darrian Brokenburr, who was tackled at the Alabama State 20-yard line.

Howard has the ball with three timeouts and 16 seconds remaining on the clock.

2:40 am, August 28, 2022

📺 TV channel update

The remainder of the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge will be aired on ESPNU. Click or tap here to watch live.

2:29 am, August 28, 2022

Fumble! 2Q: 3:57

After making their presence known throughout the first half, Howard finally got to Alabama State quarterback Dematrius Davis as Howard defensive end Marcus Brown's sack-fumble returned the Bison the ball.