What would have given North Carolina Central a big, game-winning field goal against Bethune-Cookman was dashed when freshman Elliot Miller blocked a 19-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds left to preserve a 28-26 victory in an early important Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.
Both North Carolina Central and Bethune-Cookman (4-1, 2-1 MEAC) were part of last season's five-way tie for the MEAC championship.
North Carolina Central (1-3, 1-1 MEAC) broke open an early close game on Nigel Macauley's two field goals, quarterback Malcolm Bell's two short TD runs and another score by running back Dorrel McClain. That gave the Eagles a 26-7 lead late in the third quarter.
The Bethune-Cookman bend-but-don't break defense wouldn't allow North Carolina Central to score anymore after that. Meanwhile, Quentin Williams went to work for Bethune-Cookman's offense, throwing touchdowns, both 29-yarders, to Jawill Davis to close the gap to 26-21.
The Wildcats then took a North Carolina Central punt and took six plays before Michael Jones ran a 6-yard TD to give them a 28-26 lead with 10:50 remaining.
North Carolina Central couldn't move the ball on their the next possession, but a Bethune-Cookman fumble gave the ball back to the Eagles with 6:11 remaining. They ran 16 plays and held the ball for 5:39 before getting down to the goal line, setting up for a potential game-winning kick.
At that moment, a narrow 2014 win over Florida International that the Wildcats blocked a potential game winning kick to hold for the win floated through the mind of Bethune-Cookman head coach Terry Sims.
It happened again as Miller swatted away Nigel Macauley's kick.
"I was thinking about FIU last year," he said. "We had to make a special teams play. Coach (Aashon) Larkins and the guys stepped up and came away with a big block. This game is crazy!
"It was a great win," he added. "We had to battle the weather and a great opponent today. We knew (North Carolina Central) was going to be well-coached today and ready. Luckily, we were able to stand in there and come out victorious."
Williams finished with 248 yards and two touchdowns passing along with 72 yards rushing for Bethune-Cookman. Bell threw for 178 yards for North Carolina Central, while adding 93 yards and two TDs on the gorund. McClain finished with 144 yards rushing and a touchdown.
The win was the sixth straight for Bethune-Cookman over NCCU.
UNC Pembroke Hands Top-Ranked Tuskegee First Loss of 2015
UNC-Pembroke erased a one-point early fourth quarter lead to hand top-ranked HBCU Division II Tuskegee their first loss of the season, 29-17 on homecoming day in Pembroke.
Rontonio Stanley's one-yard plunge with 5:29 remaining gave UNC-Pembroke (4-1) a 22-17 lead. Tuskegee (4-1, 3-0 SIAC) held the ball for more than four minutes, but did nothing with it and turned the ball over on downs. After taking possession, UNC Pembroke scored quickly as Stanley ran 45 for the touchdown, sealing the win.
Stanley finished with 131 yards and three touchdowns for UNC Pembroke, a team that has defeated three CIAA teams already this season. Quarterback Patrick O'Brien was 22-for-32 for 230 yards and touchdown for Tuskegee, ranked No. 17 nationally among all Division II teams.
Tuskegee was led by Kenno Loyal's 75 yards and one TD rushing. Quarterback Kevin Lacey, who was harassed all day by the Braves defense, threw for 153 yards and was sacked four times.
Tuskegee goes to Columbus, Ga., next week to take on Morehouse in the 80th Annual Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic.
Here are the recaps of EVERY HBCU football game from Saturday:
Elizabeth City State 41, Livingstone 6 - Daquan Neal rushed for a touchdown and threw for two more to lead Elizabeth City State (3-1, 1-1 CIAA). Livingstone (1-2, 0-2 CIAA) was led by Jarius Richardson's 116 yards rushing and Drew Powell's 80 yards and one TD passing.
Virginia Union 22, Shaw 13 - Shawheem Dowdy threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns to lead Virginia Union (4-1, 2-0 CIAA). Shaw (0-5, 0-2 CIAA) was led by Quenton Rucker's 223 yards and one TD passing.
Fayetteville State 49, Lincoln (Pa) 17 - Derek Bryant led Fayetteville State (2-3, 2-0 CIAA) with 217 yards and three touchdowns passing, while Andre Montgomery and Darreall Hamlett each had more than 85 yards rushing and a touchdown. Corbin Rascoe added two TDs rushing. Lincoln (Pa) (3-2, 1-1 CIAA) main offensive source was the 184 yards and one touchdown by running back Stephen Scott.
Chowan 27, Winston-Salem State 24 - Just when things seemed to be turning around for young Winston-Salem State (1-4, 1-1 CIAA), they run into a hot Chowan (4-1, 2-0 CIAA) team. Randall Dixon threw for 180 yards and a touchdown while Tyree Lee rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Winston-Salem State had -2 yards rushing.
Virginia State 24, St. Augustine's 0 - Trenton Cannon rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns to lead Virginia State (3-2, 1-1 CIAA) to an easy win. St. Augustine (0-5, 0-2 CIAA) had only 14 yards passing and 68 yards rushing. They've scored fourteen point in five games and haven't scored since Sept. 19.
Bowie State 34, Johnson C. Smith 21 - In a game of runs, Johnson C. Smith (1-4, 0-2 CIAA) had 21-second quarter points to erase and early lead, but Bowie State's Heleaiance Gates returned a third quarter fumble 42 yards for a touchdown and Stephen Willis sealed the win with a 10-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Matthew Coggans threw three TDs for Bowie State (4-1, 2-0 CIAA).
Grambling State 59, Jackson State 27 - Grambling (3-2, 3-0 SWAC) blew open a close halftime game by outscoring Jackson State (1-4, 1-2 SWAC) 31-7 for the win. Johnathan Williams threw for 327 yards and five touchdowns for Grambling with Martez Carter adding 97 yards and a touchdown. La Montiez Ivy had a monster offensive day for Jackson State as he threw for 490 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 63 yards and another score.
Alcorn State 61, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 14 - Top-ranked Alcorn State (4-1, 3-0 SWAC) ran over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-4, 0-3 SWAC), as Joe Price ran for 141 yards and a touchdown and Darryan Ragsdale had 132 yards and a TD. Quarterback Joe Gibbs Jr. ran for three TDs of his own to go with his two touchdown passes.
Jacksonville State 49, Mississippi Valley State 0 - Jacksonville State, the nation's top-ranked FCS team, showed why they are No. 1, as Troymaine Pope rushed for 100 yards and two TDs, Josh Clemons 98 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Eli Jenkins throwing for a score and rushing for two more. JSU's defense held Mississippi Valley State (0-5, 0-3 SWAC) to less than 200 yards of total offense.
Coastal Carolina 55, Alabama A&M 0 - Alex Ross threw four second quarter TDs while Coastal Carolina held the Alabama A&M (1-3) offense in check to ease to a win.
Prairie View A&M 42, Faith 0 - In a game that goes down in the books as an exhibition because of a summer NCAA rule which redefined who is an truly an intercollegiate varsity team (which pretty much labels Faith as not being one), Trey Green threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns and Johnta Hebert led a solid Prairie View A&M with 61 yards and a touchdown. The win or statistics from it won't count in the PVAM record book.
|Stillman's Ravonta Johnson runs the ball against Lane. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter/Tuscaloosa News)|
Kentucky Wesleyan 35, Central State 7 - Dalton Oliver threw for 389 yards and four touchdowns Micah Crutcher had eight tackles, two for losses and a sack in Kentucky Wesleyan's win. Neither team had any success rushing. Kentucky Wesleyan had 33 yards on the ground while Central State (2-3, 0-1 SIAC) had 30.
Kentucky State 32, Benedict 19 - Fourth quarter touchdown runs by Reginal Harris and Derek Woodmore broke a 19-all tie to give Kentucky State (2-3, 2-0 SIAC) the win. Benedict (0-5, 0-3 SIAC) had their biggest offensive output of the season after only scoring nine points in four games. Raheem Jennings rushed for 73 yards and two TDs for Benedict.
Alderson Broaddus 27, Fort Valley State 20 - A 20-7 fourth quarter Fort Valley State (3-2, 3-0 SIAC) lead evaporated in the game's final five minutes as Vaughn Wilson threw two of his three TD passes and Michael James returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown with seven seconds remaining to give Alderson Broaddus a wild win. Brandon Jones added 120 yards rushing for Alderson Broaddus. Malcolm Eady threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns for FVSU, but had two interceptions.
Albany State 29, Miles 16 - Albany State (2-3, 2-1 SIAC) settled down after Miles's Jamarcus Nance scored two early TDs and erased a 14-0 deficit to score 29 second half points for the win. ASU's Jarvis Small ran for 111 yards and a touchdown Daviness Greene ran for 78 yards and score. Miles (1-5, 1-1 SIAC) held Albany State to 57 yards passing but gave up 232 yards on the ground.
Morehouse 23, Miles 13 - In the Battle of the Atlanta University Center, Monquavious Johnson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in a 23-point second quarter that gave Morehouse (3-2, 1-1 SIAC) the win. Matthew Vincent threw for 107 yards and rushed for 43 yards and two TDs for Clark Atlanta (0-5, 0-2 SIAC). James Woods had seven tackles and three of Morehouse's four sacks.
Savannah State 37, Florida A&M 27 - Savannah State (1-3, 1-1 MEAC) jumped out to a 30-7 halftime lead and held on to win, breaking their 24-game losing streak and 32-game, MEAC losing streak. Nicholas Bentley had two first half TD runs for SSU. Arshon Simmons rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown and Joshua Berry added 89 yards rushing and a TD for Savannah State. Kenneth Coleman and Carson Royal combined to throw for 246 yards and two touchdowns for struggling Florida A&M (0-5, 0-2 MEAC)
Norfolk State 15, Howard 12 - Greg Hankerson Jr. spoiled Howard's wet homecoming day by tossing a 6-yard TD pass with 41 seconds left to give Norfolk State (2-3, 2-0 MEAC) the win over winless Howard (0-5, 0-3 MEAC). Hankerson threw for 294 yards and two TDs. The Bison gave up -17 yards rushing to the Spartans in a strong defensive effort. Howard's Greg Johnson had eight tackles and two sacks while Damon Gresham-Chisolm added seven tackles and two sacks.
North Carolina A&T 45, Hampton 31 - Tarik Cohen rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns to lead North Carolina A&T (3-1, 1-0 MEAC) as the Aggies held off Hampton (2-3, 1-2 MEAC). David Watford led Hampton with 242 yards and three touchdown passes.
Furman 17, South Carolina State 3 - Furman avenged last season's loss to South Carolina State (2-2) in a defensive struggle during a rainy day in South Carolina. The Bulldogs moved the ball better than Furman, limiting the Paladins to 87 yards passing and 134 yards rushing. But South Carolina State's Caleb York threw two interceptions and had two fumbles. Tristan Luke rushed for 75 yards and two TDs for Furman while SCSU was led by Jalen Simmons' 70 yards rushing.
Morgan State 26, Delaware State 6 - Moses Skillion threw a touchdown and ran for another to lead a 20-0 second half run to give Morgan State (2-2, 2-0) the win. Orlando Johnson rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bears running game. Delaware State (0-4, 0-1 MEAC) was led by Jamal Jackson's 78 yards rushing and Esayah Obabdo's 137-yard, one TD passing performance.
|Bloomsburg's Jee Parsnik rushes for a TD against Cheyney (Photo by Justin Engle/The Daily Item)|
SW Assemblies of God 49, Texas College 10 - Texas College was no match for SW Assemblies of God as CJ Collins threw for 217 yards and four touchdowns, Jeremiah Maat had 12 tackles and SAGU picked off four Texas College (0-4, 0-1 CSFL) passes.
West Virginia State 52, Virginia-Wise 45 - West Virginia State (3-2, 3-2) fell behind 28-0 early, but rallied Matt Kinnick's 336 yards and three TD's passing and Tyrone Barber's three touchdowns rushing. Quniton Gray caught nine passes for 202 yards and two TDs, including a 71-yarder.
McMurry 34, Lincoln (Mo) 14 - Matthew McHugh threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 51 yards to lead McMurry to the win. Lincoln (Mo) (1-4) was led by Owen Jordan who threw for 228 yards and a touchdown and ran for another.