DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University sophomore quarterback Chauncey Caldwell amassed a career-high 464 yards of total offense, including a career-best 153 rushing yards and the game-winning touchdown run with 24 seconds left in the game, to lead the Eagles to a 40-35 conference victory over Howard University inside O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium on Saturday.
Caldwell completed 24-of-38 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns, while his counterpart, Howard quarterback Caylin Newton, threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns on 24-for-39 passing.
The two MEAC squads exploded for 1,126 combined yards of total offense. The visiting Bison tallied 598 total yards, while NCCU registered 528 total yards.
During a first half in which neither team punted, NCCU held a 24-19 advantage at intermission.
The outcome came down to the final possession for each team. NCCU forced a punt and took over at its own 34-yard line with 3:08 remaining in the contest. Caldwell engineered a nine-play drive, passing for 34 yards and rushing for 42 yards, including the go-ahead score from three yards out.
Although there were only 24 ticks left on the clock, Howard responded. Newton completed back-to-back passes of 13 and 30 yards, plus tacked on 15 more yards for a roughing the passer penalty to move the Bison to the NCCU 17-yard line. Newton’s next pass to the end zone sailed over the intended receiver and into the hands of NCCU defensive back Marcus Martin for the game-clinching interception.
Offensively for NCCU, Isaiah Totten recorded 57 rushing yards and a touchdown to contribute to the Eagles’ 217 ground yards, while also catching five passes for 25 yards. Several receivers had big days for NCCU. Nique Martin led the way with seven receptions for 85 yards, followed by Daeshawn Stephens with four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown, E.J. Hicks with four grabs for 54 yards and a score, and Xavier McKoy with three receptions for 68 yards and a one-handed touchdown catch.
NCCU placekicker Adam Lippe made two clutch 42-yard field goals and converted all four extra-point kicks.
Senior safety Davanta Reynolds led the NCCU defense with 12 tackles, including an assisted takedown for a loss, and a pass break-up. Anthony Sherrill and Jaquell Taylor chipped in seven stops each.
A pair of Howard receivers posted big numbers. Jequez Ezzard collected eight receptions for 174 yards and three touchdowns, while Kyle Anthony caught nine passes for 147 yards. Running back Khalid Dorsey contributed 83 rushing yards and a score. Safety Jayson Robinson recorded a game-high 14 tackles for the Bison.
NCCU (2-3, 1-1 MEAC) has a week off before traveling to Norfolk State on Oct. 20. Howard (1-3, 1-1 MEAC) hosts Delaware State on Oct. 13.
Courtesy: NCCU Athletics