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North Carolina A&T State clinched its second consecutive MEAC championship and trip to the Celebration bowl with a dominating performance in a 45-0 road victory against arch-rival North Carolina Central in the Aggie-Eagle Classic.

It was the most lopsided victory for either team in the rivalry since North Carolina Central returned to the conference in 2011. The Aggies (9-2, 5-1 MEAC) overwhelmed North Carolina Central on both sides of the ball.

They gained 539 yards total offense with a three-pronged attack with quarterback Lamar Reynard, receiver Elijah Bell and running back Marquell Cartwright, doing most of the damage.

Raynard, who sat out the Aggies’ victory against Savannah State a week ago due to a concussion, returned and completed 16 of 23 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns; Bell, who has been dogged by injuries all season, appeared to be completely healthy as he caught 10 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns and is two catches shy of breaking the school record for touchdown receptions; Cartwright, the leading rusher in the MEAC, ran for 110 yards on 20 carries to top the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. The Aggies have had a 1,000-yard runner in eight of the last nine seasons. Cartwright also scored a pair of touchdowns.

North Carolina A&T’s defense was nothing short of suffocating. The Aggies held the Eagles to a miniscule 41 yards total offense, including minus-21 rushing – the lowest number in the 90-year history of the rivalry.

“That’s what we do. That’s what we’re about. Stop the run,” said first-year North Carolina A&T coach Sam Washington, who was the Aggies’ defensive coordinator for seven seasons under Coach Rod Broadway before being elevated to the top spot when Broadway retired. “They play into what we do, so we knew we could give them a considerable amount of problems. The thing you worry about is are the kids going to deviate from what we do because their eyes start to deceive them. But they didn’t. They did a good job of executing the game plan.”

KEY RESULTS

Bowie State 41, West Alabama 35 – The Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs with a home victory. It was the first playoff victory in school history for Bowie State (10-2). The Bulldogs will travel to Georgia to face Valdosta State in the second round Saturday. Quarterback Amir Hall threw completed 31 of 48 attempts for 376 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bulldogs past West Alabama (8-4). The Bulldogs fell behind in the early going when Martin Tyriq caught a seven-yard touchdown from Harry Satterwhite at the 10:36 mark in the first quarter. The Bulldogs answered with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Hall to Jordan Crockett, who caught seven passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, and a three-yard touchdown run by Hall for a 14-7 lead. Satterwhite tied the score with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Jonnas Spivey before Gene Carson booted an18-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 17-14 halftime lead. West Alabama went ahead 28-27 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but Hall scored on a five-yard touchdown run and Roger Richardson returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs an insurmountable lead. Tyler Bush’s five-yard touchdown run with 5:09 remaining in the game cut Bowie State’s lead to the final margin, 41-35. West Alabama got the ball at Bowie State’s 46 with 3:16 left on the clock for its last possession. The drive ended at the Bulldogs’ 23 when Satterwhite’s pass on fourth-and-six to Qua Boyd was incomplete.

Alcorn State 24, Jackson State 3 – The Braves ran off 21 unanswered points in the second half to capture their fifth consecutive SWAC East Division championship with a home win against the arch-rival Tigers. Alcorn (8-3, 6-1 SWAC) will host the winner of Southern-Grambling State matchup in the Bayou Classic in the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 1. Jackson State (5-5, 4-3 SWAC), a decided underdog entering the game, played a spirited first half and the score was tied 3-all entering the third quarter. Alcorn came out of the locker room and overpowered the Tigers with their running game, which generated 217 yards. The Braves had 394 total yards to 195 for Jackson State. Running back De’Shawn Waller led Alcorn’s ground attack with 124 yards. P.J. Simmons, who ran for 67 yards, scored the Braves’ first touchdown on an eight-yard scamper on Alcorn’s first possession of the second half. Quarterback Noah Johnson connected with freshman Juan Anthony on a 47-yard touchdown pass, and Taurence Wilson ended the scoring with a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Bethune-Cookman 33, Florida A&M 19 – The Wildcats scored the game’s final 16 points to defeat the Rattlers for the eighth straight time in the Florida Classic in Orlando and deny their arch-rivals the MEAC title and berth in the Celebration Bowl. Florida A&M (6-5, 5-2 MEAC) ended the season with a three-game losing streak. The Rattlers went ahead 19-17 on Ryan Stanley’s nine-yard touchdown pass to George Webb with 37 second remaining in the third quarter, but Bethune-Cookman (7-5, 5-2 MEAC) tied the score when Vernon Walker returned the blocked point after touchdown kick for a two-point score. The Wildcats took the lead on Jabari Dunham’s five-yard touchdown run at 13:53 of the fourth quarter, and they sealed the victory with Tydarius Peters’ 90-yard interception return for a touchdown with 17 seconds to play. Both teams had highly productive offensive performances. Florida A&M amassed 465 total yards with Stanley throwing for 305 and a pair of touchdowns. However, he also threw a pair of interceptions.  Bethune-Cookman racked up 417 yards, 201 rushing and 216 passing. Tupac Isme burned the Rattlers for 208 yards on just five carries.

OTHER RESULTS

MEAC

Bryant 56, Howard 55

Delaware State 41, Virginia-Lynchburg 7

Morgan State 44, Norfolk State 27

South Carolina State 21, Savannah State 17

 

SWAC

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 15, Texas Southern 10

Alabama A&M 42, Mississippi Valley State 14

Prairie View A&M 66, Alabama State 13

OTHERS

Hampton 44, Saint Andrews 17

Tennessee State 31, Tennessee Martin 28, OT

TOP PERFORMANCES

  • Prairie View A&M QB Jalen Morton had 486 yards total offense – 290 passing and 196 passing – and accounted for six TDs, four passing and two rushing.
  • Howard QB Caylin Newton completed 17 of 29 passes for 373 yards and
  • Howard WR Jequez Ezzard caught five passes for 211 yards and two TDs.
  • Texas Southern WR Bobby Hartzog caught 10 passes for 185 yards
  • Morgan State QB DJ Golatt Jr. rushed for 156 yards and one TD on 20 carries.
  • Delaware State WR Tarron Selby had eight catches for 155 yards and two TDs.
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff RB Traeylor Porter rushed for 143 yards on 10 carries.
  • Prairie View A&M QB Dawonya Tucker rushed for 124 yards and two TDs on 19 carries.
  • Hampton RB Will Robinson rushed for 124 yards and two TDs on 12 carries.
  • Hampton WR Alec Dana caught two passes 94 yards.
  • Delaware State RB Brycen Alleyne rushed for 115 yards and two TDs on 16 carries.
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff PK Jamie Gillan made five of six field goal attempts.
  • Alabama A&M LB Yurik Bethune had 3.5 sacks and six tackles.

HBCU Football Recap: North Carolina A&T State Reigns Over The MEAC Again  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com