NC Central holds it down for the MEAC, beating Alcorn State 23-14

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By Itoro N. Umontuen | The Atlanta Voice

Photo By: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

After a 644 time lack owed to the Coronavirus outbreak, the North Carolina Central Eagles stunned the reigning, defending SWAC Champion Alcorn State Braves 23-14 astatine Center Parc Stadium successful Atlanta connected Saturday night, taking location the Cricket MEAC | SWAC Challenge trophy successful the process.

In beforehand of a nationally televised audience, Alcorn State struck archetypal arsenic elder backmost Felix Harper hooked up with Juan Anthony Jr. connected a 20-yard touchdown strike.

Manny Smith of the Eagles recovered a Harper fumble successful the 2nd quarter, arsenic the crippled became a conflict for tract position.

For the NCCU offense, Davius Richard was the metronome that kept everything connected schedule. The 6’3″, 200 lb sophomore from Belle Glade, Florida finished the crippled completing 16 of 25 passes for 184 yards. On the ground, helium ran for 64 yards connected 9 attempts and 2 scores. He would beryllium named the violative MVP.

Photo By: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

“I privation to convey God and my teammates for putting their each connected the field,” Richard said. “That’s wherefore we came retired connected top. We ne'er doubted, we didn’t look astatine the scoreboard, we conscionable kept playing until we saw the zeroes connected the scoreboard. I wouldn’t beryllium capable to bash the things I did without them.”

The Braves answered that people arsenic Harper connected with sophomore moving backmost Niko Duffey connected a four-yard touchdown reception to marque the people 14-13. The constituent aft was nary good.

North Carolina Central would instrumentality implicit the crippled thereafter. Sophomore place-kicker Adrian Olivo made a 28-yard tract extremity astatine the 13:39 people successful the 4th quarter. However, sophomore antiaircraft back, Brandon Codrington took an Alcorn State punt 77 yards to the house, efficaciously putting the crippled retired of reach.

“It was each astir us,” said NCCU caput manager Trei Oliver during his postgame property conference. “Obviously watching movie from 2019, we had to power what we could power – our emotions, our eyes, and discipline. Our guys cognize that I americium not connected societal media similar that, I’ll similar and retweet, but I americium not going to beryllium determination and benignant and instrumentality selfies. My guys cognize that, if that bash it, okay. We watched ESPN this greeting and watched the United States of America prime Alcorn to win. But it didn’t matter, arsenic agelong arsenic everyone successful that locker country believed, it was each good.”

Brandon Codrington returned the punt 77 yards for a touchdown!


New people 11:21 near successful the 4th quarter: @NCCU_Football 23@AlcornStateFB 14#MEACSWACChallenge #TheAtlantaVoice #HBCUFootball #CollegeFootball

— The Atlanta Voice (@theatlantavoice) August 29, 2021

Smith finished the crippled arsenic the antiaircraft MVP aft helium recorded 10 full tackles and a sack to spell with the aforementioned fumble recovery.

Meanwhile for Alcorn, 1 statistic they tin place arsenic a constituent of accent was the information they went 1-for-1o connected 3rd down.

“Hats disconnected to North Carolina Central and manager Oliver, they person a bully shot squad implicit there,” said Alcorn State caput manager Fred McNair. “For us, we conscionable person to get backmost to doing things that we bash best, and that’s execute. We didn’t decorativeness drives and didn’t vie the mode we should person down successful the reddish zone.”

FINAL SCORE:@NCCU_Football 23@AlcornStateFB 14

After 644 days off, the Eagles silenced the doubters and instrumentality location the 2021 @MEAC_SWAC CHALLENGE! #HBCUFootball #MEACPride #MEACSWACChallenge #TheAtlantaVoice

— The Atlanta Voice (@theatlantavoice) August 29, 2021

With the nonaccomplishment of North Carolina A&T from the MEAC and coupled the defections of Bethune Cookman and Florida A&M to the SWAC, it was up to NC Central to correspond for the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. It was not mislaid connected Oliver’s mind.

“Yeah, we person a spot connected our shoulder,” Oliver said. “Why is determination is truthful overmuch speech astir the SWAC, and we person owned Atlanta for the past 14 years? I don’t get it. We play bully shot successful the MEAC. And not to instrumentality thing distant from the SWAC, I was down there. I played and coached determination for respective years. But we play bully shot successful the MEAC. I cognize we mislaid A&T, FAMU, and Bethune, but we person won championships since those past 2 person won. We play bully shot and volition proceed to play bully shot successful the MEAC. At slightest successful Durham, North Carolina we will.”

Gallery by: Itoro N. Umontuen of The Atlanta Voice

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