Another week, another win
Eagles' capitalize off turnovers; win on national television
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 15:10
With the game being broadcasted on ESPNU, the N.C. Central University Eagles had no intentions of losing on national television.
Thursday night the Eagles defeated the Hampton University Pirates 37-20. They were welcomed back to O’Kelly Riddick stadium by a packed crowd of white t-shirts and the bright cameras of ESPNU network.
The Eagles’ extended their winning streak to four games and now sit atop the MEAC tied for first place with the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats.
"It was great for our university and football program," NCCU head coach Henry Frazier III said of being on ESPNU.
"When I came here two years ago I said I want to win the conference but I also want to go after a national championship and this was pretty big in that direction."
The defense carried the team most of the night, while the Eagles high powered offense slightly struggled, accumulating 247 total yards. The Eagles average 321.1 yards per game.
"We knew our offense was struggling so we just came out and played hard," junior linebacker Tazmon Foster said.
An early first quarter field goal gave the Pirates the first lead. After a turnover on downs by the Eagles on their next possession, the Eagles’ defense responded.
Foster recorded his first interception of the season when he jumped the slant route of a wide receiver crossing in front of him. He returned the interception 80 yards for a touchdown ducking and dodging defenders. The play appeared on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the night.
Foster and redshirt sophomore Ty Brown led the Eagles defense with 8 tackles.
"Our defense won this game," Frazier said. "We've been an opportunistic team all season and tonight was no different."
The Eagles’ defense continued to create turnovers in the second quarter, putting the offense in good field position time and time again. Two more touchdowns from the offense extended the Eagle’s lead to 20-3 at halftime.
Frazier said that was the difference in the ball game.
“We got three turnovers that turned into three touchdowns," said Frazier.
Hampton running back Jeremiah Schwartz scored his first touchdown of the game on the Eagles’ defense making the score 23-10. A safety on the next possession and a touchdown by the Pirates cut the lead to three 23-20 with 9:21 left in regulation.
The Pirates joy wouldn't last for long as senior running back Arthur Goforth returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to extend the lead back to a two-score game at 30-20. A late passing touchdown from Reid to redshirt senior Gary Douglas gave the Eagles all it needed to put away the Pirates for good 37-20.
"Plays have to be made, and he made a play," Frazier said.
Goforth echoed the same sentiments.
"God has just been blessing me to make plays," Goforth said.
Next week will be a big test for the Eagles as they head to Daytona Beach, FL to take on the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats in a battle of unbeaten teams in conference play.
"Whoever wins next week is in the driver seat to win the championship and that’s the bottom line," Frazier said.