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NC Central wins Celebration Bowl in Sanders’ Jackson finale

NC Central football practice
Mitchell Northam
/
WUNC
NC Central football players practice on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium in Durham ahead of the Eagles' Celebration Bowl game.

Quarterback Davius Richard scored on a 1-yard plunge in overtime and North Carolina Central beat Jackson State 41-34 on Saturday in the Celebration Bowl to spoil coach Deion Sanders’ bid for an undefeated season in his final game with the Tigers.

The Eagles made a goal-line stand on Jackson State’s first overtime possession to preserve the victory. Tight end Hayden Hagler’s drop on third down from the 1 set up an incompletion by Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders to end the game regarded as the championship of teams from historically Black college and universities.

Richard ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

Sanders’ 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Hunter as time expired in regulation set up Alejandro Mata’s tying extra point to send it to overtime. 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. Coach Deion Sanders is taking over as coach at Colorado.

N.C. Central (10-2) gave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference a 6-1 edge over teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference in the Celebration Bowl.

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