Davius Richard leads NCCU to the 23-14 MEAC-SWAC Challenge victory over Alcorn State
Coming into the 2021 MEAC-SWAC Challenge most people had Alcorn State running away with this game, but QB Davius Richard and North Carolina Central defense had other plans as the Eagle won 23-14. Alcorn started the game hot with a touchdown on their first drive, then had two explosive plays that set them up in the redzone. But after nasty facemask penalty and diving for a loose ball, Alcorn State QB Felix Harper seemed shook up. Harper was 7/8 for 84 yards before the penalty and hit, for the rest of the game he was 10/19 for 70 yards. NCCU’s defense kept constant pressure on Harper and made him uncomfortable in the pocket.
But the game belonged to NCCU QB Davius Richard. Richard didn’t have an eye-popping statline, but after the end of the second quarter he took over the game. On their last drive of the second half NCCU Richard connected with Daeshawn Stephens for 33 yards on a nice run after the catch by Stepens, which set them up on Alcorn’s 6 yard line. After 2 incompletions Richard tucked it and ran up the middle for 6 on a QB draw with 23 seconds left in the first half.
At the start of the third quarter Central started off with the ball and they did not waste any time. Richard started the drive off with a dart 25 yards down the seam to EJ Hicks, after that they worked their way down the field inside the Alcorn 5 yard line. Then on a read option pulled the ball and faked out the contain defender to score his second rushing TD from 1 yard out.
But after a blocked kick and a fumble that eventually led to an Alcorn TD, NCCU's lead was short lived. But after putting up a field goal Central took the lead back. On Alcorn's next drive they lost 20 yards on a high snap that caused an intentional grounding call the Braves faced 3rd&28 and were eventually forced to punt. After letting the ball bounce and finding a seam DB Brandon Codrington turned on the jets and took the punt 77 yards to the house up the right sideline.
This momentum shift was enough for them to ride their lead for the rest of the game. NCCU got it done in all three phases to make the overall record for the MEAC-SWAC Challenge 11-4 the MEAC's way.