North Carolina Central University snapped a tie game with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Davius Richard with just 25 seconds left in the contest, but Mississippi Valley State responded with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Jalani Eason to Caleb Johnson with no time on the clock to give the Delta Devils at 17-16 homecoming victory inside Rice-Totten Stadium on Saturday.
NCCU (2-3) jumped out to a 10-0 lead courtesy of a 20-yard field goal by Adrian Olivo and a diving 26-yard touchdown catch by Ryan McDaniel with 59 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
MVSU (1-3) got on the scoreboard with 37 seconds left in the second quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Orlando Fernandez. On the last play before intermission, MVSU’s Volme Swanier returned an interception 41 yards to the end zone to even the halftime score at 10-10.
Neither team scored until Richard bulled his way into the end zone with 25 seconds left in the game, but Olivo’s extra-point kick missed the mark, keeping the Eagles’ advantage at 16-10.
A facemask penalty against NCCU on the ensuing kickoff allowed MVSU to start its final drive at the NCCU 46-yard line with 19 seconds remaining. After an incomplete pass, Eason connected with Jacory Rankin for a 44-yard catch-and-run to the 2-yard line. The clock on the scoreboard showed no timing remaining, as the Eagles began celebrating. However, the referee added one second on the clock, allowing MVSU to tie the score and then, after a pair of NCCU timeouts, kick the extra point by Fernandez.
Richard completed 14 of 25 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 30 yards and a score. McDaniel collected four receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, NCCU was topped by Brandon Codrington with eight tackles and a forced fumble, while Cole Williams contributed seven stops, two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery.
Courtesy: North Carolina Central athletics