Taylor Gray connected from 22 yards at the 14:52 remaining in the game to put the Eagles up 17-14. The score was set up by a Derrick Ray interception at the Eagle 3-yardline on the Crusaders’ prior possession.
The Eagles gained 306 yards of total offense, 174 of which came through the air. Stadford Brown completed 14 of 33 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown to lead the Eagle passing attack.
Will Scott led the NCCU receiving corps with five receptions for 73 yards.
Eric Moeller led a Crusader offense that gained 284 yards by completing 19 of 32 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. Travis Talbert made six receptions for 51 yards. Rashad Cumming led the rushing attack with 92 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.
Matt Moore, a third-year running back, switched to right cornerback for today’s game.
Andre Bernardi, back in full action since returning from knee surgery, and Doug Wilson led the Crusader defense with 11 tackles each. Bernardi recorded 2.5 tackles for a loss, including one sack.
North Carolina Central responded on the ensuing possession as Brown connected from 22 yards out with Corey Harris for a touchdown. Gray’s PAT gave the Eagles a 7-6 advantage with 14:54 remaining in the second quarter.
The Crusaders tied the game on their first possession of the second half, driving 70 yards in nine plays. Moeller connected with Jarvis Garrett for a nine-yard touchdown strike at the 10:59 mark. Talbert caught Moeller’s pass over an Eagle defender for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14-14.
Then, Gray’s 22-yard field goal made the score its final of 17-14.