Head coach Trei Oliver was looking to get his “lick back,” and he did just that.
N.C. Central roared back from a 35-21 halftime deficit Saturday to stun the Campbell Camels 49-48 in overtime in front of 8,410 fans, including the 2023 NCCU Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.
The Eagles got off to a quick start scoring on their fourth play from scrimmage on NCCU quarterback Davius Richard’s 5-yard run, but struggled the rest of the first half. The NCCU offense mustered up 14 points in the 1st quarter and 7 points in the 2nd quarter.
The Eagle defense gave up 281 total yards and 35 points, including one touchdown on a blocked punt. Campbell scored on the majority of their possessions, and NCCU couldn’t seem to stop the camel offense.
“That wasn’t our brand of football that we started off the game with in the first half,” coach Oliver said.
NCCU wouldn’t let its slow start stop them. The momentum shifted when NCCU defensive back Jason Chambers intercepted Campbell with a few minutes before halftime.
The Eagles offense was able to quickly score, making it 35-21 at halftime.
“We were down 35-14 at that point and after he made that play, that got it to a two possession game and gave us a lot of momentum going into halftime,” coach Oliver said.
The second half was a different tale. The Eagles outscored their opponent 21-7, and the defense neutralized Campbell by holding the team to 57 passing yards and 60 rushing yards.
In the fourth quarter, the score was 42-42 with less than two minutes remaining. The Eagles drove from their own 25-yard line to get into field goal range with four seconds left, but NCCU kicker Adrian Olivo missed the 34-yard field goal attempt to win the game.
The game went into overtime.
In overtime Campbell scored the first touchdown, making the score 48-42. But, NCCU defensive lineman Karfa Kaba came up huge by blocking the PAT. On the next play Collier zoomed into the endzone for a 25-yard touchdown.
“I have to get in there,” Collier said.
Redemption had knocked on Olivo’s door and he walked right through it. He made the walk off PAT and took a glorious victory lap with his teammates around the field.
Richard was MEAC Offensive Player of the Week after finishing the game with 265 passing yards and 92 rushing yards. NCCU linebacker Jayden Flaker had 15 total tackles, earning him MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Week.
After moving up two slots in the FCS rankings, the No.11 Eagles will travel to No.25 Elon University on Saturday Oct.7.
“It’ll be another week, man,” Oliver said. “We gotta come to play.”