Home College Football N.C. A&T Beats Alcorn State In The Celebration Bowl

N.C. A&T Beats Alcorn State In The Celebration Bowl

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North Carolina A&T Coach Sam Washington gets a water bath by Jalon Bethea during the Celebration Bowl victory over Alcorn State. (4.0 Sports)

Mercedes Benz Stadium — N.C. A&T’s Kylil Carter Carter completed 18 of 30 passes for 364 yards and six touchdowns, leading No. 22 A&T (9-3) to a 64-44 victory over Alcorn State (9-4) in the fifth annual Celebration Bowl at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Not only did they hit the combined 100-point mark, but the 108 total points are the most scored in Celebration Bowl history, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The man of the game was N.C. A&T quarterback Carter. On 1st-and-10 with about 10 minutes left in the third, he connected with Ron Hunt for a 43-yard touchdown and a 38-17 lead with the extra point.

Carter waited patiently as a backup until his fifth year of college football to finally become a starter.

The fifth-year senior just proved that when are patience great things happen to those who wait.

The Aggie quarterback Carter played the best game of any quarterback in the 95-year history of A&T football.

He ran the ball 13 times for 96 more yards, running through the tough defense and making SWAC champion Alcorn look average.

The six touchdown passes matched a school record for a single game set by North Carolina A&T legend Alan Hooker in 1985, and on this day those touchdowns led the Aggies to its third consecutive Celebration Bowl victory, its fourth in five years.

“It’s a blessing,” Carter said. “I thank God every day, and I thank Him for this moment. When the opportunity came, I prayed and He helped me get through it.”

Carter spread the ball around and threw touchdown passes to four receivers, showing off his pinpoint accuracy, hitting all of his receivers in stride resulting in big plays down the field.

Korey Banks snatched six passes for 122 yards and two TDs, the second a 73-yarder during a crazy second half.

Elijah Bell — A&T’s all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and TDs — caught two passes, a 53-yard TD and a 20-yard TD.

“We had a lot of time, four weeks between games, so I worked hard on fundamentals,” Carter said. “Doing the little stuff right. To have a great performance like this, I can’t thank my O-line and my receivers enough. And my running backs, too, for staying in and making blocks. None of this would’ve happened without all of them.”

With a little less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Alcorn State was still very much in this game. The Braves scored a one-yard touchdown to get to 55-44. But then on the extra point attempt, the snap was way too high and flew over the holder’s head, and N.C. A&T defensive back Amir McNeill recovered it and took it all the way back to the opposite end zone.

The Braves’ main focus coming into the game was on running back Jah-Maine Martin. The All-America running back led the nation with an average of 7.81 yards per carry in the Aggies run-first offense, the 11th-best rushing attack among the country’s 124 FCS teams.

But Carter did his homework in the four weeks between games, and he said offensive coordinator Chris Barnette set him up for success.

“Coach Barnette opened it up, I didn’t. We just went out there and executed whatever plays he called. I tried to make it count, get the ball in the receivers’ hands and give them a chance. They caught the ball and made plays.” Carter said.