Sackie Kerkulah stuffed Lewis Kindle on the one-yard line to help Howard hold off North Carolina A&T, 35-28 in overtime, in a key MEAC game at Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C. Saturday.
The Bison win spoiled the Aggies’ chance to take over sole possession of first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conferencem, while keeping alive Howard’s chances at the crown.
In the overtime, Howard (4-4, 3-2) scored first when Terrence Lefall ran it in from three yards out.
On N.C. A&T’s turn, ironically, the Aggies got to the three-yard line of the Bison. But, quarterback Kindle couldn’t get past Kerkulah and was taken down without getting the opportunity to try to stretch the ball across the plane of the goal line.
The tackles of Kindle ended a wild game that saw North Carolina A&T (4-3, 3-1) come back from a 13-0 halftime deficit to trade leads and ties up until the final play of the game.
Howard got the ball flying in the first quarter with Parker Munoz’s 33-yard field goal.
In the second quarter, playcaller Greg McGhee connected with Willie Carter from six yards for a 10-0 Bison lead. Munoz later added a 32-yard field goal and Howard went into halftime up 13-0.
The second half was a totally different story, however.
Mike Mayhew finished off NC A&T’s opening drive of the second half with a one-yard plunge to put the Aggies on the board.
Later in the third quarter, Kindle found Wallace Miles for a 20-yard scoring strike and the Aggies had their first lead, 14-13.
Brandon Drayton helped the Bison retake the lead early in the fourth quarter when he caught a 16-yard pass from McGhee. A two-point conversion put the team up 21-14.
Mayhew tied it for the Aggies with an explosive 66-yard run, but Aquanius Freeman negated his effort when he took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards through NC A&T’s special teams to put Howard back on top, 28-21.
North Carolina A&T responded with a long drive, capped by Ricky Lewis’ three-yard score that helped send the game into the extra period.
Florida A&M 27, South Carolina State 24
Lavante scored two three-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Rattlers (5-3, 3-2) rallied against the Bulldogs (4-4, 3-2).
After Page’s second touchdown with 2:32 left in the game, S.C. State went four-and-out, turning the ball over on downs for FAMU to run the clock out.
The victory put Florida A&M into a fourth-place tie with SCSU and Howard.
Both schools tied with Bethune-Cookman for the MEAC crown last season, but now all three need help to defend their crowns. The Bulldogs still must face conference-leading North Carolina A&T, as well as Howard before season’s end. FAMU still has N.C. A&T and Bethune-Cookman on the schedule.
The schedule is particularly critical for the Bulldogs, who have dominated the MEAC the past few seasons and have represented the conference in the FCS playoffs for the past several years. Last year, Bethune-Cookman won the tie-breaker to take the automatic slot and SCSU received an at-large bid.
With four losses, however, S.C. State will, more than likely, have to win both of its remaining games.
Damien Fleming passed for almost 300 yards, completing 34 of 40 throws for 297 yards and a six-yard TD to Brian Tyms that pulled FAMU to within 17-13 at halftime.
The Rattlers got on the board first with Trevor Scott’s 24-yard field goal in the first quarter.
SCSU quarterback Richard Cue put the Bulldogs ahead with a 12-yard scoring run. Darius Drummond added a 68-yard punt return into the end zone and Blake Erickson booted a 46-yard field goal.
FAMU managed only Scott’s second field goal, from 25 yards, before Fleming hit Tyms.
The Bulldogs padded their lead with Asheton Jordan’s 46-yard rushing TD in the third quarter.
Other MEAC scores:
Bethune-Cookman 14, Norfolk State 6
Hampton 30, North Carolina Central 27 (OT)