NCCU Eagles Take Home The 2022 Celebration Bowl Championship In Overtime

A game for the history books that had fans across the nation on the edge of their seats, the 2022 Celebration Bowl more than lived up to its expectations. With over 49,000 fans in attendance this year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA), the MEAC’s North Carolina Central University’s Eagles (10-2) went up against the SWAC’s Jackson State University Tigers (12-1). North Carolina Central beat Jackson State 41-34 in overtime on Saturday in the Celebration Bowl to end Coach Sanders bid for an undefeated season in their farewell.

The Eagles quarterback Davius Richard, ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard scoring plunge in overtime. The second consecutive year they’ve lost the Bowl. The Eagles’ defense made a goal-line stand on Jackson State’s first possession in overtime to obtain the win. Jackson State’s tight end Hayden Hagler’s drop on third down from the 1 yard-line established an incompletion by Jackson State’s quarterback Shedeur Sanders to end the game.

Sanders’ 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Hunter as the clock winded down in regulation, set up Alejandro Mata’s tying extra point to send the game to OT. It was the fourth scoring pass of the game for Sanders, who also ran for a score.

Jackson State (12-1) was denied its bid for the first undefeated season in school history. Deion Sanders wanted to finish the season with his Tigers first before taking over at Colorado, where his son Shedeur Sanders will accompany Coach Prime to the Boulders. 

North Carolina Central quarterback Davius Richard earned offensive MVP honors after completing 15-20 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown, rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns and catching two passes for 33 yards and a two-point conversion. Eagle defensive back Khalil Baker won defensive MVP after leading the team with 10 tackles.

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