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HBCU Football

Week 10: Quarterback Malcolm Bell helping North Carolina Central contend for MEAC title

Between his passing and running, Bell is the offensive engine leading the league in total offense

North Carolina Central University has quietly put together an impressive season. The Eagles (7-2 overall, 6-0 MEAC) have been able to soar behind the play of their brilliant quarterback Malcolm Bell, who guided North Carolina Central to a 38-19 victory over Delaware State University on Saturday.

Bell connected on 17 of 31 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His efforts against the Hornets have moved him into fourth place on the Eagles’ career passing list with 5,693 yards, surpassing Brad Adams, who finished his playing days at North Carolina Central with 5,687 yards.

He had a big day against Delaware State throwing to wide receiver LaVontis Smith, who had four receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Smith, North Carolina Central’s leading receiver, has been steady all season with 32 receptions for 505 yards and five touchdowns.

Bell has been really consistent, too. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound redshirt senior is the second leading passer in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). He has completed 131 of 221 passes for 1,784 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Bell has completed 59.3 percent of his passes.

He can also run the football. Bell has 88 carries for 291 yards and five rushing touchdowns. He leads the MEAC in total offense. Bell has been a major player in the Eagles’ success by making big plays with his arms and legs. He knows how to keep the chains moving. He does all of the little things to help his team win.

After losing to Duke and Western Michigan universities to start the season, North Carolina Central has won seven consecutive games. The Eagles are certainly on a roll right now, and North Carolina Central will host a struggling Howard University team (1-8 overall, 1-5 MEAC) Saturday. If the Eagles can beat the Bison, it could set up a huge game with their longtime rival North Carolina A&T State University at home for the MEAC title. Of course, that’s providing North Carolina A&T can get past a winless Delaware State (0-9 overall, 0-6 MEAC), whom North Carolina Central just upended in a recent win.

Led by Bell a year ago, North Carolina Central upset North Carolina A&T, 21-16, to get a share of the MEAC championship.


  • North Carolina A&T linebacker Jeremy Taylor had 12 total and six solo tackles in the team’s 30-20 win over South Carolina State University.
  • Bethune-Cookman University wide receiver Keavon Mitchell had four receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown in the Wildcats’ 41-10 win over Morgan State University. Mitchell scored on a 44-yard touchdown reception.
  • Savannah State University quarterback T.J. Bell was 15-of-28 for 159 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 31-15 win over Norfolk State University. Bell also rushed 14 times for 149 yards and one touchdown.
  • Bowie State University quarterback Amir Hall completed 18 of 27 passes for 296 yards with three touchdowns and one interception to help the Bulldogs post a 56-7 victory over Elizabeth City State University. The win gives Bowie State the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Northern Division crown. Bowie State will face Winston-Salem State University in the CIAA championship game Saturday.
  • Tuskegee University quarterback Kevin Lacey engineered a crucial drive with a minute remaining to help the Golden Tigers nip Miles College, 13-10, in a key Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. Lacey was 15-of-32 for 201 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
  • Mississippi Valley State University wide receiver Joshua Banks had seven receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown in the Delta Devils’ 41-7 win over the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
  • Texas Southern University linebacker Jarius Moore had 14 total and seven solo tackles as the Tigers dropped a 26-10 decision to Southern University. Moore also returned an interception 73 yards for a touchdown.
  • Grambling State University quarterback Devante Kincade completed 19 of 35 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 56-17 win over Alabama A&M University.

Donald Hunt, a writer for the Philadelphia Tribune, is a longtime ESPN contributor who has covered Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Follow him on Twitter at @DHUNTTRIB.