NCCU’s stirring homecoming comeback leads to win for the ages


NCCU’s home stadium (Getty Images)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina Central head football coach Trei Oliver made sure the Eagles’ Saturday night celebration wouldn’t last too long.

“We didn’t have cake and ice creme and everything else on Sunday,” said Oliver.

Instead, it was back to work for the Eagles, less than 24 hours after an epic 38-36 double-overtime win over Norfolk State

Central battled back from an early 21 point hole to get one of the school’s best wins in recent memory.

“I think that was an instant classic,” gushed Oliver. “That was a huge win for our program, the alumni, and the University.”

The Eagles put an end to the Spartans’ six-game winning streak despite getting off to a terrible start. Nothing went right for Central early on.

“We didn’t get one first down in the first quarter,” lamented Oliver. “My message to them was let’s just try to get a first down and after we get a first down we’ll try to get a drive together and sustain something.”

And that’s exactly what the Eagles did.

Central scored 17 straight points in the second quarter, eventually forcing overtime and then getting the win in the second overtime when quarterback Davius Richards connected with Daeshawn Stephen for the decisive two-point conversion.

The win set off a celebration that lasted well into the night – for some.

“I told the guys enjoy Saturday night and we came in for treatment, weight lifting and corrections on Sunday,” Oliver said. “Our practice Sunday afternoon, it was real quiet and it was rough. We were excited we won but we have to make these corrections and prepare for next week.”

Falling behind by three scores is usually not a good recipe or success. But winning after doing so can make a lasting memory.

“We’ve been in close games all year and we were looking for a signature win to get us over the hump,” Oliver explained. “Our guys they don’t flinch and they don’t blink and they don’t drop their heads, they’re just going to keep on fighting.”

Just ask Norfolk State.

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