DURHAM, N.C.- The North Carolina Central University Eagles stood tall against the Howard University Bison as they came away with a 27-22 win in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium Saturday afternoon.
NCCU opened the game with low energy, minimal offensive plays and a scoreless first quarter. The Eagles passed for only 28 yards and rushed for just 21. #Brandon McLaren# attempted a 48-yard field goal, but the kick was no good. The team’s slow pace early in the game set up the Bison for a 26-yard field goal by kicker John Fleck at the start of the second quarter.
Quarterback #Malcolm Bell# had an answer for the Bison, launching a 44-yard pass to receiver Adrian Wilkins as he backpedaled into the end zone for a touchdown. That was all the boost the Eagles needed to begin their takeover.
On the offense, Bell threw for a total of 245 yards, but also led the Eagles with 66 rushing yards; 38 of which were rushed in the second quarter alone.
With 4:53 on the clock in the second quarter, NCCU went for a conversion on 4th and 7, but as Bell rushed for 9 yards, he fumbled and the Bison recovered it at the NCCU 31-yard line. Despite the turnover, the NCCU defense held the Bison line, forcing them to attempt a 42-yard field goal and the kick was no good.
#Delqwan Jackson# came into the game late in the second quarter, immediately leaving his mark with a 43-yard touchdown and 13.5 seconds to play in the half. Jackson scored his first touchdown and his first catch of the season.
The Eagles defense appeared to lose their momentum in the third quarter after committing two consecutive offside penalties and allowing a Bison touchdown. The Bison went for a two-point conversion in hopes of bridging the gap, but were unsuccessful. The Bison still trailed 9-14 to the Eagles.
As NCCU’s offense was unresponsive for a few minutes, they managed to get back in the groove after #C.J. Moore# forced a Bison fumble that was recovered by the Eagles at their own 21-yard line.
#Andre Clarke# gave the Eagles more fire with a rushing touchdown, making for his sixth of the season, but McLaren couldn’t follow up with the extra point. Nonetheless, the Eagles were in the lead 20-9 over the Bison with 5:00 of play left in the third quarter.
NCCU tight end #Kevin Staton# went down after a big tackle towards the close of the third quarter. He did not appear to be able to move his left leg and he was carted off the field.
The Eagles had possession at the start of the fourth quarter and made way for a 15-yard touchdown by receiver #Quentin Atkinson#, expanding the score to 27-9.
Both teams gave up at least 30 yards in penalties during the fourth quarter, and combined for 151 total penalty yards during the game.
NCCU let up on the Bison for the remainder of the fourth quarter, allowing two touchdowns and a sack of Bell. The Eagles managed to close out the game at 27-22 over the Howard University Bison.
Howard’s offense produced a total of 485 yards and quarterback Greg McGhee accumulated 378 total offensive yards. Matthew Colvin led both teams with 86 receiving yards.
Courtesy: NCCU Athletics
#Jeremy Thompson# led the defense with 15 tackles. Moore followed with a forced fumble and nine tackles, two of which were for a loss Moore also had one of the two interceptions Saturday, returning for 34 yards.