Photo courtesy of the N.C. A&T Twitter page
ATLANTA, Ga. — Not again. Not for the third time in five years. The Alcorn State Braves have once again fallen at the hands of N.C. A&T at the 2019 Celebration Bowl.
The Aggies defeated the Braves 64-44 in a high-scoring affair. Something one would not expect at first, considering the Braves were leading 3-0 after the first quarter.
The Aggies outscored the Braves 24-7 in the second quarter, scoring 17 unanswered points to end the first half.
However, the defending national champions were not done just yet, as they had a record-breaking third quarter. N.C. A&T outscored Alcorn State 28-21 in the third quarter which was the highest-scoring quarter in Celebration Bowl history.
The Aggies’ 28 points are a record for most points by one team in a Celebration Bowl, and quarterback Kylil Carter’s six touchdown passes are not only a career-high but a new Celebration Bowl record, too.
Alcorn State’s quarterback Felix Harper played a good game as he completed 25 of 42 passes for 342 yards and five total touchdowns — three passing touchdowns and two rushing.
Carter finished the game completing 18 of 30 passes for 364 yards for six touchdowns and no interceptions. Carter’s six touchdowns went to four different receivers.
Carter also had 96 yards rushing including a 55-yard run in the fourth quarter that put halfback Jah-Maine Martin (15 carries, 110 yards and two touchdowns) in position to score a touchdown on the subsequent play after.
The fifth-year senior ended his collegiate career as the Celebration Bowl Offensive MVP.
All MEAC Second Team member true freshman linebacker Jacob Roberts nabbed Celebration Bowl Defensive MVP. Roberts had an interception in the second quarter and returned it for 28 yards after he telegraphed Alcorn State’s Felix Harper’s pass to the flat.
Between the two teams, 1,034 yards of total offense were produced, and the 108 points scored was easily the highest-scoring game in the five-year history of the Celebration Bowl.
In an instant classic, the Aggies down the Braves for their fourth Celebration Bowl in five years and now have become the first team to win three consecutive HBCU national championships.