Kevin Atkins passed for 232 yards and three touchdowns to lead Alabama A&M to a 24-7 win over Tennessee State on Saturday in the 11th John Merritt Classic.
Atkins completed passes to seven different receivers. Thomas Harris, Rashad Johnson and Todd Leichtfuss each caught a touchdown pass. All the scoring happened in the first half.
Alabama A&M rolled up 409 yards in total offense while Tennessee State managed only 14 first downs and 191 total yards of offense. Tennessee State was held to 13 yards rushing on 22 attempts and quarterback Jeremy Perry was intercepted twice.
Tennessee State's only touchdown came on a 78-yard fumble return by Eugene Clifford.
The game, which drew a crowd of more than 23,000, honors the former Tennessee State coach. Merritt won four national HBCU championships between 1963 and 1983.