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HBCU Football

Despite 300 yards from Newton, N.C. Central’s defense shuts down upset-minded Howard

The Eagles had two interceptions and a blocked punt to beat the Bison 13-7

North Carolina Central safety Davanta Reynolds recorded his fourth consecutive game with an interception, and this time the takeaway resulted in the Eagles’ game-winning drive. Freshman quarterback Chauncey Caldwell connected with wideout Jacen Murphy on a 30-yard touchdown with 7:32 left in the third quarter to provide the final points in NCCU’s 13-7 victory over Howard.

After giving up a 75-yard touchdown pass from Bison quarterback Caylin Newton to Damion Gillespie in the first quarter, the Eagles scored 13 unanswered points to win a tough one on the road.

Eagles linebacker Reggie Hunter also intercepted Newton, which set up a field goal by Aedan Johnson to end the half and cut Howard’s lead to 7-6. NCCU went with a bend-but-don’t-break approach, as it allowed Howard 400 total yards and 328 yards to Newton but came up with four sacks. The visitors also had help from the Bison, who committed 11 penalties and allowed 217 yards on the ground.

In the battle of the freshman quarterbacks, Caldwell came out victorious with 119 passing yards, 89 rushing and a touchdown through the air. Newton had his best performance in the air, throwing for a career-high 328 yards and a touchdown.

N.C. Central (4-1, 3-0 Mid-Eastern Conference) now has an 18-game winning streak in the conference. Howard (2-3, 1-1) has now split its MEAC games.

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.