Gray tied it at 21 on a 4-yard TD run with 10:50 left in the fourth quarter and gave the Hornets (2-1, 2-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) a touchdown lead each time with his next two scores, a 49-yarder with 6:53 left and a 50-yarder with 1:29 left.
Jeffrey Scott intercepted Jalen Jones's pass to seal the win for Alabama State with 27 seconds left, handing coach Deion Sanders his first loss at Jackson State.
The Tigers (3-1, 2-1), who entered the game ranked for the first time in the FCS Top 25 since 2011 at No. 24, had the momentum swing early in the second half when their defense dropped Gray for a safety that cut the deficit to 14-8. Jones passed for 43 yards and ran for 69 yards in the quarter with his 17-yard TD pass to Corey Reed Jr. making it 15-14 and his 3-yard keeper giving Jackson State a 21-14 lead with 4:04 left in the period.
Ryan Nettles, in the second game of his career, had 164 of his 257 yards passing and both of his TD passes in the first half for Alabama State.
Jones finished with 180 yards passing with a TD pass and 94 yards rushing and two TD runs for Jackson State.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Copyright 2021 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.