In what might go down as the game of the year in HBCU football, North Carolina Central picked up a huge 49-48 comeback victory over Campbell University in overtime. After losing to Campbell last year 48-18 en route to winning the Celebration Bowl, the Eagles were determined to notch a victory.
Campbell struck first as star Campbell quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Lamagea McDowell. After a successful PAT, the Camels went up 7-0. Not to be outdone, North Carolina Central drove the ball down the field and Davius Richard capped off the drive with a 5-yard QB keeper for the touchdown to even the score up 7-7 after the PAT. The two teams traded touchdowns until the score was tied 14-14 towards the end of the 1st quarter. Then, Campbell started to pull away.
Before the first quarter concluded, Williams threw his third touchdown pass of the day as he threw a pass to Jalen Kelsey for a 65-yard touchdown to put the Camels up 21-14 after the successful PAT. After forcing a three-and-out from North Carolina Central, Campbell's Tai Goode returned the punt 16-yards for a touchdown to give the Camels a 28-14 lead. Minutes later, Williams threw his fourth touchdown of the first half to VJ Wilkins for a 6-yard touchdown. The Camels led 35-14 with 6:17 left in the game.
North Carolina Central scored before the end of the second quarter after Latrell Collier capped off a 5-play, 26-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. After the PAT, the score was 35-21 headed into halftime. North Carolina Central sparked their comeback hopes after Davius Richard kept the ball himself to run for a 6-yard touchdown with 5:19 left in the third quarter. The made PAT made the game 35-28. The Eagles scored the only touchdown in the quarter, making the game interesting going into the 4th.
Both teams registered defensive stops until North Carolina Central took their first lead of the afternoon on a Collier 1-yard touchdown run into the endzone. The Eagles were on top 42-35 after the PAT, hoping to bring home the win in front of a passionate home crowd. But Campbell wasn't done fighting. The Camels were able to move the ball down the field and NaQuari Rogers ran 4-yards up the middle for a touchdown. The PAT tied the game up 42-42.
North Carolina Central had the opportunity to drive the ball down the field and win the game. But, the Eagles had to settle for a field goal after a 14-play, 58-yard drive. Adrian Olivo attempted a 27-yard field goal kick that missed and took us into overtime. At the start of OT, Campbell wasted no time getting the ball in the endzone on a 4-play, 25-yard drive that was capped off by Williams throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ezeriah Anderson to put Campbell up 48-42. However, Caleb Dowden's PAT kick missed and left the Camels vulnerable to North Carolina Central scoring a touchdown and winning the game on a field goal. And the Eagles did just that.
All it took was Collier running for 25-yards from Campbell's 25-yard line in one play for a touchdown to tie the game up 48-48. Olivo made the PAT to seal the huge win for the Eagles. The Eagles successfully avenged last year's loss against the Camels and set themselves up well for next week's matchup against Elon before playing their first conference game against Morgan State on October 19th.