NC Central Wins Celebration Bowl By Defeating Jackson State University In Deion Sanders’ Final HBCU Game

Several storylines made the 2022 Celebration Bowl one of the most intriguing games of the college football season. When Deion Sanders announced his departure from Jackson State University to serve as head coach of the University of Colorado, the decision sparked debates for many HBCU students and graduates across the nation. 

With the hype of Sanders final game at JSU overwhelming the news headlines, North Carolina Central of the MEAC were the underdogs who were set on spoiling Sanders farewell. 

Similar to a heavy weight boxing match, both teams took turns throwing haymakers on offense. While JSU, led by quarterback Shedeur Sanders, proved to have an excellent passing game, NCC used a powerful run game to keep pace. 

NCC’s quarterback Davius Richard ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns while running back Latrell Collier ran for 98 yards and one touchdown. 

For JSU, Sanders passing attack was lethal as he threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns. None bigger than the last second throw to find star receiver Travis Hunter for touchdown with no more time left in regulation, forcing overtime. 

In overtime, NCC would prevail after Richard scored a touchdown on a one-yard quarterback sneak. JSU would fail to counter after a dropped touchdown pass gave NCC the 41-34 thrilling victory. 

Following the game, Shedeur Sanders, who will transfer to Colorado to play for his father Deion, spoke about the moment of playing his final HBCU football game. 

“I feel like we’ve won, but we didn’t win that game,” Sanders said. “I miss these guys already. I love them.”

But while Deion Sanders garnered most of the media attention, NCC took being looked over as a sign of disrespect. “They had a chip on their shoulder,” NCC coach Trei Oliver said after the game. “The disrespect was real since we’ve been down here.”

NCC would get the last laugh by taking home the Celebration Bowl title. But with theatrics on and off the field, the Celebration Bowl proved to be a game for the ages by showing the power of HBCUs. 






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