|Mike Jones set an NCCU record with 145 punt return yards on Saturday.|
Two years ago, North Carolina Central struggled to beat former CIAA foe St. Augustine’s University in its season opener. It didn’t take long to figure out that wouldn’t be the case on Saturday, as NCCU dominated from start to finish, starting its season with a 72-0 win.
NCCU’s special teams got things going when C.J Moore recovered a blocked punt in the end zone with 12:41 left in the first quarter. It was all downhill for St. Aug from there, as NCCU had its way all day, dominating every phase of the game.
Perhaps no player had more of an effect on a game than Mike Jones. The junior defensive back finished with 145 punt return yards, a school-record, helping the Eagles win the battle for field position all night. His partner in crime, fellow defensive back Ryan Smith, came up with a big special teams of his own when he returned his first-ever kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to open up the second half.
Then there was the offense, which ran for two touchdowns and threw for four more. Quinn Billerman came off the bench to complete 8 of 9 passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns while starter Malcolm Bell completed 13 of 20 passes and neither was picked off.
St. Aug struggled to get anything going, as they recorded just 166 yards on the day, just 31 on the ground.
NCCU will travel across town to face FBS opponent Duke next week while St. Aug will face CIAA rival Virginia Union.