Freshman Jamal Williams returned a kickoff 75 yards with 3:32 left in the third quarter to give UNC-Pembroke (9-1) a 21-7 lead, and the Braves then shut down the NGU offense in the fourth quarter as they defeated the Crusaders (2-9) in Pembroke, NC.
Williams got UNCP on the scoreboard first when he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Cory Smith with 6:33 left in the second quarter. The Braves extended their lead to 14-0 when linebacker Matthew Fortson intercepted a Richard Harb pass and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown.
NGU crept to within 14-7 when Crusader freshman Nick Rosamonda intercepted a Smith pass with 3:43 left in the third quarter and sprinted into the end zone for a 16 yard score. Rosamonda’s touchdown was his second in three games off of an interception. Williams then scored on the ensuing kickoff to seal the NGU defeat.
UNCP had 291 yards of total offense to only 181 for the Crusaders. Harb and freshman C.T. Morton combined for only 10-23 passing and 123 yards. NGU’s stellar senior running back Rashad Cummings concluded his career with 75 yards.
NGU’s primary problem was maintaining offensive drives as they converted only 1 of 12 third down chances. The Crusader defense remained tough as UNCP could manage only one offensive touchdown. Andre Bernardi led the NGU effort with 7.5 tackles (3 for loss). Junior cornerback Xavier Boykin had 6.5 tackles, Joe Novotasky had 5 tackles (1 for loss) and senior Michael Rush added 4.5 tackles.