Sunday, November 22, 2015

North Carolina Central Win Over A&T Means A&T, Central and Bethune-Cookman Share MEAC Title; A&T Goes to Celebration Bowl; Alcorn State Win Sets Up Rematch With Grambling in SWAC Championship; Recap of ALL of Saturday's HBCU Football Action


North Carolina A&T will be the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference representative in the inaugural Celebration Bowl football game on Dec. 19, but it's not because they won Saturday.

The Aggies were knocked off Saturday by rival North Carolina Central 21-16, leaving the MEAC championship as a three-way tie between A&T, Central and Bethune-Cookman who defeated Florida A&M Saturday.  Because of the tie-breaker system, the Aggies will head to the Celebration Bowl to face the winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

North Carolina A&T, who claimed a share of the MEAC title last week, could have won the MEAC title outright with a win over Central.

But that didn't happen Saturday as the Aggies managed only one offensive touchdown, a fourth-quarter Kylil Carter touchdown pass to Dequan Swann.

The Aggies led early, picking up a first quarter field goal.  But North Carolina Central got touchdowns Malcolm Bell and a 67-yard punt return TD by LaVontis Smith to put them up to stay.

Tarik Cohen rushed for 112 yards to lead the Aggies offensively, while Lorenz Suttles and Denzel Jones each had seven tackles for the A&T defense.

Theo Livingston had a big game for the NCCU defense as he had 13 tackles and forced a fumble. Jordan Miles had nine tackles, while Richard Mitchell had two sacks.

The win gave North Carolina Central a share of the MEAC title for the second consecutive year as they end the season 8-3, 7-1 in the MEAC.

North Carolina A&T is now 9-2, 7-1 in the MEAC, with one game left to play.

"This is big for our program," A&T Head Coach Ron Broadway said according to the school's athletic web site. "This is why we do this - to have an opportunity to play in a bowl game.  Our guys have done a great job of trying to build this program back from 1-10 and losing 27 in a row.  When you think about where the program was when we came here and the fact that we're back-to-back champions of our league and the representative of our league in the first-ever Celebration Bowl five years later shows how much hard work has been put in by so many people around this university.  It also shows how much hard work our players and our coaches have put in.  This is a great honor for our outstanding university."

Alcorn State Wins SWAC East With Easy Win Over Alabama A&M 

Alcorn State rolled up 500 yards rushing with three players with more than 100 yards rushing and at least a touchdown as the Braves defeated Alabama A&M 44-10 and win the SWAC East title.

The win sets up a rematch with Grambling in the SWAC Championship game.  Grambling defeated Alcorn State 35-34 in October, the second consecutive year they've beaten Alcorn State.

Footman Lenorr rushed for 142 yards and a TD, Ragsdale Darry had 125 yards and a touchdown and Marquis Warford 118 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama A&M (2-7, 2-5 SWAC) struggled with the Alcorn State running game.  The Alcorn State running game worked so well that they only completed two passes the entire game.  Footman completed those two passes, one of them for another touchdown.

Defensively the Braves were just as dominant, with eight sacks and an interception.  Darien Moody had eight tackles and three sacks for ASU.

Here are recaps of the rest of Saturday's HBCU football action: 


Bethune-Cookman 35, Florida A&M 14 - Quentin Williams threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to lead Bethune-Cookman (9-2, 7-1 MEAC) to the win over Florida A&M (1-10, 1-7 MEAC).  The win gives BCU a share of the MEAC title for the second consecutive year. Anthony Jordan rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats and Jawill Davis caught six passes for 115 yards and a TD.  FAMU was led by Devin Bowers who rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown.

Delaware State 32, Howard 21 - Dae-Hun Cheung's 64-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run lifted Delaware State (1-10, 1-7 MEAC) to their only win of the season.  The Hornets had been down 12 points midway in the third quarter before Kobie Lain's 32-yard TD toss to Aris Scott and Cheung's run gave them the come-from-behind win.  Howard (1-10, 1-7 MEAC) was led by Ricquaz Brannon's 126 yards and a touchdown rushing.

Norfolk State 17, Morgan State 10 -  Greg Hankerson's second touchdown of the day, a 57-yard run, gave Norfolk State (4-7, 4-4 MEAC) the win over Morgan State (4-6, 4-4 MEAC).  Hankerson passed for 128 yards and a touchdown and ran for 88 yards and his late score. Morgan State was led by Moses Skillon who threw for 185 yards and a TD and rushed for 51 yards.

South Carolina State 52, Savannah State 29 - Adrian Kollock Jr. threw 188 yards and two touchdowns and Jalen Simmons ended his career with 77 yards and a TD rushing to lead South Carolina State (7-4, 6-2  MEAC) to the win.  Savannah State (1-9, 1-7 MEAC) was led by Arshon Spaulding's 66 yards and one TD passing and 63 yards and a touchdown rushing. Leonardo Myers had 17 tackles for Savannah State.


Prairie View A&M 56, Jackson State 14 - Johnta Hebert rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns, including a 76-yarder, to lead Prairie View (8-2, 8-1 SWAC) to the win.  The Panthers rushed for 355 yards and six touchdowns.  Raleigh Johnson had 13 tackles and Brandon Medina had 11 stops to lead PVAM defensively.  Jackson State (3-7, 3-5 SWAC) was led by Jarin Morikawa's 151 yards and two TDs passing and Javancy Jones' 11 tackles and one sack.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 25, Mississippi Valley State 19 - Brian Handley's 8-yard TD run in overtime gave Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-9, 1-8 SWAC) their first FCS win of the season (their other win was over Division II Morehouse). Handley finished with 98 yards and a TD on the ground.  Mississippi Valley State (1-10, 1-8 SWAC) tied the game late with a 38-yard interception return for a TD by Le'Trey Jones.  Slade Jarman led MVSU with 182 yards and a TD passing and 52 yards rushing.

Alabama State 26, Miles 7 - A week after Division II Miles (7-5) won the SIAC championship, they fell to FCS Alabama State (6-5) in the Turkey Day Classic. Ellis Richardson rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown and replaced injured Daniel Duhart at quarterback, going 6-of-10 for 78 yards. Khalid Thomas added 78 yards and a touchdown on the ground for ASU.


Tennessee Tech 30, Tennessee State 24 - Ladari Vanlier rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns to lead Tennessee Tech (4-7, 3-5 OVC) to the win over Tennessee State (4-6, 1-6 OVC). Erick Evans led TSU with 111 yards and two touchdowns while O'Shay Ackerman-Carter threw for 221 yards threw for 221 yards and a TD.

Dante Nania's Three TDs Lead Slippery Rock to 40-21 Win Over Virginia Union in NCAA Division II Playoffs


Dante Nania threw three touchdown passes midway through the game to lead Slippery Rock to a 40-21 victory over Virginia Union in the first round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs Saturday.

Slippery Rock (11-1) goes on to host Assumption (11-1), a 51-29 winner over Bowie State Saturday, in the second round next week.  Virginia Union finishes the season 8-3.

Slippery Rock jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, but VUU's Shawheem Dowdy threw a 5-yard TD pass to Devin Anderson to pull to 13-7.  But then The Rock went on a 20-0 run on three Nania TDs that put the game out of reach.

Slippery Rock also got a huge game from running back Shamar Greene who rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yarder late in the game.

Dowdy led Virginia Union with 375 yards and one passing TD while also rushing for two touchdowns.

Kevin Lacey Throws Two TDs As Tuskegee Defeats Catawba 26-16 In NCAA Division II Playoffs; Advances To Second Round for First Time in Program History


It's on to the second round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs for Tuskegee as Kevin Lacey threw two touchdown passes and linebacker Jewell Ratliff picked off a pass at the goal line for another touchdown to lead the Golden Tigers to a 26-16 win over Catawba.

It's the program's first NCAA playoff win after two years of close defeats.

Tuskegee (9-2) now heads across the state to play North Alabama, a 50-7 winner over Newberry, next weekend.  Catawba finishes the season 8-3.

"This was a big win for us," said Tuskegee head coach Willie Slater according to the school's athletics web site.  "It's our first playoff win and now we have to focus on the next win.  The next one is the most important one.  We just have to get back to work.  I have seen some strange things happen in the playoffs."

Tuskegee used a balanced offense and a tough run defense to keep Catawba at bay.  Lacey threw for 219 yards while the Golden Tigers rushing game had 121 on the ground.  Dennis Norfleet had 88 yards rushing to lead Tuskegee.

The Golden Tigers took their first drive straight down field as Lacey hooked up with Peyton Ramzy on a 39-yard touchdown pass.  Tuskegee went up 14-0 nine minutes later after Jerome Lewis' one-yard TD run.

Catawba followed up with a touchdown in the third quarter and a field goal early in the fourth, but Lacey followed immediately with his second TD toss.  Then midway through the fourth quarter, Ratliff's interception put the game out of reach.

Ratliff finished with ten tackles while Osband Thompson had 13 stops. Daryl George had two sacks for Tuskegee.

They now head to North Alabama, a team that finished 8-2 this season.  Tuskegee has played North Alabama three times, losing each time.  They last played in 2013 when North Alabama defeated the Golden Tigers 30-27 in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

"We are excited," Slater said.  "We have been telling them all year this is a great opportunity because we are considered to be one of the top 28 teams in the country.  They listened to us and we are excited to make it past the first round."