Cyrus, Baker, Toppings earn conference recognition

The Hornets’ thrilling 48-42 overtime victory against Prairie View A&M, as expected earned several players recognition from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Autaugaville’s Malcolm Cyrus, pressed into fulltime duty after an ankle injury to starting tailback Isaiah Crowell, responded with 241 yards on 24 carries and finished with 301 all-purpose yards. All three are career highs. He was named the co-offensive player of the week by the conference as well as the College Football Performance Award (CFPA) all-purpose player of the week.

Cyrus scored two touchdowns on Saturday, including an 80-yard sprint down the sideline which was the longest of his career, along with a 7-yard run in overtime for the game winner.

Birmingham senior Leland Baker was named the SWAC defensive player of the week after an incredible performance that included a career-high 17 tackles. The linebacker also had a game-high 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage (for 11 yards in losses) and 1.5 sacks (for 8 yards in losses).

Former Blount High standout Quinteris Toppings, a true freshman, was named the SWAC newcomer of the week. Toppings had not seen a snap all season, but was pressed into duty after an injury to starter Daniel Duhart the previous week and backup Arsenio Favor a minute into the second quarter of Satutday’s game. Toppings led ASU on five scoring drives, including the game winner in overtime. He finished the game 11 of 18 for 157 yards and a touchdown.

The 48 points marked the fourth time in five games the Hornets have reached the 40-point mark, entertaining a crowd of 11,825 with the best game of the season in the conference. Alabama State (5-2) improved to 5-1, remaining a game behind Jackson State as it prepares for the Magic City Classic on Oct. 26 at Birmingham’s Legion Field.

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About tgayle

Tim Gayle is a sports reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper and montgomeryadvertiser.com.
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