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    Quarterback Malcolm Bell runs past Morgan State defender for a 1st down. The Eagles defeat Morgan State 20-17 final. Photo courtesy of Markell Pitchford

Eagles defeat Co-MEAC champions Morgan State

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NCCU football is currently on a three-game winning streak after last Saturday’s win.

On Oct. 24 the Eagles hosted Morgan State University in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium for a MEAC showdown.

After a devastating one-point loss last season against the Bears, the Eagles were in full control Saturday, beating Morgan State 20-17.

With the Eagles beating the Morgan State Bears, this places the Eagles in third place in the MEAC after winning three straight MEAC games over the course of the season.

NCCU demonstrated that offense wins games and defense wins championships. The Eagles defense held Morgan State to negative 11 rushing yards.

The Eagles defense contributed 14 tackles for a loss, including four sacks. Cornerback Ryan Smith made a huge impact in the game with a late-fourth quarter interception to help the Eagles close out the game for the win.

Redshirt freshman running back Dorrel McClain rushed for 113 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

McClain was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football Rookie of the Week for his rushing display.

This is McClain’s second straight 100-yard performance and the third of his college season.

“The offensive line had a big impact on the game along with the defensive line,” Quarterback Malcolm Bell said. “Everyone really stepped up to the challenge. Ryan Smith and JaQuan Smith came up with clutch plays on the defensive end and Dorrel McClain always runs the ball hard.”

Last week’s MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Week Clevonne Davis said, “Morgan State game was very nerve-wracking but we practice for situations like that all the time. Ever since we started conference play we’ve been fighting through adversity so we knew how to overcome it.”

Clevonne Davis already has been awarded the Preseason All-MEAC First Team honoree and received two MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Week awards this season.

“This season I really became a student of the game as far as watching film and playing with more technique,” said Davis. “This season I also learned how to better my leadership role and to play more with confidence.”

This game featured both MEAC teams with only one loss in the conference, giving the two teams and the fans high hopes.

“It was a game with a championship feel to it,” Malcolm Bell said. “Both teams knew that a loss would kill all hopes of winning the championship, so the game reflected that. It was a hard-fought battle in the trenches. I’m just glad we were on the winning side of things. We have one goal and that’s to finish the season strong and to get to the MEAC championship.”

The Eagles are sitting at a 4-3 record but are 3-1 in the conference. The Eagles are now third place in the MEAC.

The Eagles will host Norfolk State University for the Homecoming game Oct. 31 at 2 p.m.

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