Durham, NC is also known as “The Bull City” but the last two weeks, its been “Upset City” in black college football. North Carolina Central pulled off a 21-14 win against NC A&T, knocking its rival out of sole possession of first place in the MEAC and taking a piece of the conference crown itself.
A&T started off strong early, as running back Tarik Cohen drove his team down the field with several long runs, culminating in a 35 yard touchdown scamper for the game’s first score.
NCCU, on the other hand, came out shaky on the offensive end. It started with a missed field goal and continued with a fumble near the A&T goal line. It would soon right the ship, however, as Malcolm Bell hit Jazz King for a 10 yard touchdown to tie the game at 7.
The third quarter would prove to be a turning point in the game, as NCCU scored on runs by Andre Clark and Bell to take a 21-7 midway through the third quarter.
A&T would answer with another Cohen-led drive, as he went 74 yards on three runs, including a 67-yarder to cut the lead to 21-14 just before fourth quarter.
The game-defining play would come at the hands of Cohen, who fumbled the ball at the 1 yard line with 4:31 left in the fourth quarter. NCCU would recover the ball and managed to keep A&T out of the endzone, and possibly out of the FCS playoffs.
Bell completed 14 of 21 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. He added another 74 and a touchdown rushing. Ty Brown came up huge on defense for NCCU with 3 sacks and a forced fumble.
Cohen finished with 203 yards and 2 touchdowns and one costly fumble for A&T. Quarterback Kwashaun Quick rushed for 97 yards.
A&T completes the regular season 9-3, tied for first place with NCCU (7-5), Bethune-Cookman (9-3), South Carolina State and Morgan State.