In the 2022 MEAC/SWAC Challenge, Week Zero’s HBCU Football showcase, Alabama State emerged victorious over Howard University on Saturday, August 27, prevailing with a final score of 23-13. The game, characterized by numerous weather delays, reached its conclusion through an official decision rather than the final whistle.
The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is a yearly battle between the two football programs from each HBCU conference. Initially established in 2005, South Carolina State and Alabama State met at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama for the first inaugural game. Since then the MEAC holds more than ten wins over the SWAC. Since 2018 the challenge founded a new home in Atlanta, Georgia; specifically Center Parc Stadium.
This win marked a significant milestone for the SWAC as it secured its first victory in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge since 2018. This accomplishment also marked only the fifth overall win for the SWAC in the series. Nonetheless, it was a moment of achievement for the Hornets, as they celebrated their first victory in three attempts within the Challenge.
Alabama State’s Jacory Merritt led the rushing attack, scoring a touchdown, while their potent offense amassed 360 total yards. Their strong secondary held Howard to just 4.4 yards per pass attempt. Conversely, Howard’s Jarett Hunter struggled, gaining only 32 rushing yards, and their defense allowed 10.2 yards per pass attempt, coupled with 65 penalty yards.
Redshirt freshman Dematrius Davis, from Alabama State, showcased his talent and earned the title of the game’s MVP. He impressively completed 16 out of 23 passes, accumulating 184 yards and throwing a single touchdown.