CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – In a city filled with football history, Tom Benson Stadium held the first ever Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic on Sunday, where Alabama A&M defeated Morehouse by a final score of 35-31.

After building a 28-10 lead early in the second half, the Bulldogs (1-0) nearly let the game slip through their hands on the rainy Sunday afternoon, as the Maroon Tigers (0-1) battled back to take a 30-28 lead with just 1:01 remaining in the game.

However, 61 seconds proved to be too much time for Alabama A&M who regained the lead for good on a 20 yard touchdown pass from Aqeel Glass to Brian Jenkins Jr. with just three ticks left on the game clock.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame was created in 2009 by African-American pioneers, quarterbacks James Harris and Doug Williams to preserve and celebrate the history of the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Sunday’s match up served as a way to help fund a permanent Black College Football Hall of Fame within the Pro Football Hall of Fame museum, as well as provide the residents of northeast Ohio an opportunity to learn and experience the culture of HBCUs.

Alabama A&M is a member of the Southwestern Athletic College (FCS). Their size and speed ultimately proved to be too much to handle for the Division II Maroon Tigers.

Just two of the players who competed in the contest were Ohio natives. Morehouse senior linebacker Julien Turner from Pickerington (Pickerington North HS) and Alabama A&M senior defensive back Mike Mills is from Dayton (Thurgood Marshall HS).

29 members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame played at HBCUs, including all time greats like Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Walter Payton and Michael Strahan.