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HBCU football

Bethune-Cookman upsets North Carolina Central on Hail Mary pass

Langston completes first undefeated regular season since 1973

After taking its first lead of the game with 16 seconds remaining, North Carolina Central had to feel good about its chances of beating Bethune-Cookman. A 15-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard Chauncey CaldwellXavier McCoy connection put the Eagles ahead 10-7.

The Eagles opted for a short kickoff that put Bethune-Cookman only 48 yards away from the end zone. Larry Brihm Jr.‘s first pass fell incomplete, and the team opted to have him heave it down the field on his second pass attempt.

Keavon Mitchell corralled the last-ditch toss and the Wildcats (6-4, 5-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) completed a major upset by beating NCCU, 13-10, on the road Saturday. That was one of only two receptions for Mitchell, while Brihm accumulated only 90 yards, most coming on the Hail Mary.

The Wildcats and NCCU (7-3, 5-2) are tied for third in the conference.

Top HBCU performances

  • Wide receiver Cedric Jackson recorded a season-high 10 receptions for 193 yards and three touchdowns in Langston’s 38-19 win over Wayland Baptist. Quarterback Jaylen Lowe had himself a day, as he passed for a season-high 293 yards on 21-of-34 passing with three touchdowns. For the first time since 1973, Langston, the NAIA’s eighth-ranked team, finished undefeated (10-0). The 1973 team went 11-0. This will be Langston’s first home playoff game in program history.
  • In Alcorn State’s 59-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State, quarterback Noah Johnson went 12-for-19 passing for 297 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 122 yards and two scores. All three of Johnson’s touchdown throws were hauled in by Norlando Veals, who closed the day with nine catches for 253 yards.
  • Howard’s Bryan Cook recorded two interceptions in the Bison’s 28-24 victory over Norfolk State. With the Bison’s one loss in the conference and North Carolina Central’s last-second defeat against Bethune-Cookman, Howard finds itself in second place in the MEAC standings behind North Carolina A&T.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.