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HBCU Football

Alabama A&M smothers Mississippi Valley State with four picks, eight sacks

NCCU freshman Chauncey Caldwell throws for 333 yards and two scores to lift the Eagles to victory

Dylan Hamilton and Mike Mills both returned interceptions to the house and accounted for half of Alabama A&M’s interceptions in the team’s 49-14 win over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday.

The defense had four picks for 78 yards and eight sacks to stifle the Delta Devils. Vernon Moland led the way with his 2.5 sacks and had 2.5 of A&M’s 10 tackles for loss.

The Bulldogs (3-4, 3-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)) built a 35-0 lead to demoralize the Delta Devils (1-2, 1-5).

Quarterback Damion May complemented the A&M defense’s effort with two rushing and two passing touchdowns. He finished with 168 yards passing and 55 rushing before giving way to redshirt freshman Dylan Smith, whose first career touchdown was a 78-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Hamilton’s 52-yard interception return put the Bulldogs up 28-0, while Mills added his 17-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs held the Delta Devils to minus-27 yards rushing besides wreaking havoc on Mississippi Valley State’s passing attack.

Top HBCU performances

  • North Carolina Central freshman Chauncey Caldwell threw for a career-high 333 yards, including an 89-yarder that is the third-longest completion in NCCU history, with two passing touchdowns and one on the ground. The Eagles (5-1) defeated Gardner-Webb in a nail-biter, 24-17, to keep their 11-game winning streak alive. That is the second-most yards a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) player has thrown for this season.
  • Delwaun Beard kept Bethune-Cookman’s lead intact by blocking South Carolina State’s Tyler Scandrett’s field goal attempt as the Wildcats (3-3 overall, 2-1 MEAC) held on for a 12-9 victory. Bethune-Cookman actually had another blocked kick in the game, but it was nullified by offsetting penalties. This was the first time in Wildcats history that the team won without scoring an offensive touchdown. Uriel Hernandez converted on four field goals against the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-3).
  • In Morgan State‘s 150th homecoming, the defense came up with seven sacks as the Bears (1-5, 1-2 MEAC) bullied Savannah State (0-6, 0-4) in a 48-28 victory.
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s LeEarl Patterson owns the first 300-yard passing game in the SWAC since Sept. 23. Patterson, who threw for 333 yards, passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in the Golden Lions’ (2-5) homecoming game against Central State. But his four touchdowns weren’t enough, as the visiting team defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 40-35.
  • Devin Bowers leads all MEAC running backs in 100-yard games. He finished with 100 yards, his third such effort of the season, in Florida A&M’s 31-20 homecoming loss to North Carolina A&T (7-0, 4-0 MEAC). The Rattlers are 2-5, 1-3.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.