N.C. Central University’s football team gained a huge victory in their home opener in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium with a 45-7 win over the Elizabeth City State University Vikings.
The NCCU faithful were jubilant as their squad won convincingly from start to finish securing win number one of the season.
The Eagles came out the gate swinging as Freshman quarterback Darius Richard connected with Tyler Barnes on an 8-yard pass putting the Eagles up 7-0 early in the first quarter. The Eagles then tacked on 3 more points as kicker Adrian Olivo made the score 10-0.
In just his first game as a starter, Richard amazed the home crowd with 208 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.
Redshirt junior running back Isaiah Totten gave the Eagles much needed cushion as he broke free for a 43-yard run to the endzone putting the Eagles up 17-0 halfway through the second quarter.
Totten who had 21 carries the week prior against Gardner Webb only received ten carries during the game, but almost surpassed his total from last week rushing for 74 yards, and averaging 7.4 yards per carry.
The Vikings showed signs of life on the ensuing kickoff as Zion Riddick returned the kick for 65 yards. With great field position, the drive was then completed by Kedrick Patterson as his pass was caught by Dajuan Greene making the score 17-7.
That would be the last time the ECSU team would find the endzone on the day as they were shut down by an impressive defense who allowed only 108 yards of total offense on the day. The Eagles ended the game forcing a shutout in the second half of play sending the Vikings to (0-3) on the season.
Linebacker Jerome Foster who collected a huge interception to open the third quarter ran it back to the end zone just further asserting the Eagles dominance over the Vikings. He also had four total tackles on the day as he was a very pivotal piece to the team’s win.
Defensive Lineman Darius Royster led the Eagles in tackles with eight total tackles, while also forcing a fumble on the day. Royster also grabbed two sacks and three tackles for a loss on the day, as he was a huge spark for the Eagle defense.
“(I’m) just excited we got over the hump today,” Royster said after their huge victory.
Head Coach Trei Oliver, an N.C. Central alumnus, collected the first win of his career under the reins of the Eagles. Oliver celebrated his victory with a Gatorade shower as players dowsed coach Oliver during the final minutes of the game.
“Every win is a good win, especially your first one,” Oliver said when asked about the victory.
Although Oliver was displeased with the team’s 16 penalty calls, he preached to the team about going into their next game stronger than ever.
The Eagles look to add a second win on the season as they open up MEAC play against the winless Morgan State Bears ( 0-0 MEAC, 0-3 overall) on Saturday, Sep. 28 at 6 p.m.