Durham, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2017) ---A week after its 18-game MEAC win streak was snapped, North Carolina Central started a new one with a 42-14 victory over Delaware State on homecoming Saturday for the Eagles at O’Kelly-Riddick this afternoon.
The Hornets, one week after earning their first win, fell to 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the MEAC this season. The defending conference champion Eagles improved to 6-2 and 4-1. NCCU has also won five straight and nine of the last 10 games in the series.
Freshman quarterback Chauncy Caldwell completed 17-of-29 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Jacen Murphy had 10 receptions for 189 yards and two scores to lead the Eagles. Caldwell also rushed for two touchdowns in the game.
North Carolina Central passed for 278 of its 401 total yards in the game.
Delaware State threw for 285 yards, raising its total to 1078 passing yards in the last four games (269.5 avg.). The Hornets averaged 154.3 yards passing in their first four outings (617 total).
DSU rushed for just 51 yards, and was plagued by three turnovers and 15 penalties for 107 yards in the contest.
Freshman wide receiver Kwannah Kollie had a career performance for the Hornets, catching three balls for 107 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jack McDaniels (fr.) in the third quarter. First-year wideout Trey Gross had a team and career-high eight receptions for 71 yards, highlighted by a six-yard touchdown pass from Keenan Black (so.) in the second quarter.
Black started his second game in a row at quarterback for the Hornets. He completed 13-of-33 passes for 119 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
McDaniels came off the bench to complete 11-of-17 throws for 166 yards. He had one touchdown and was intercepted once.
Caldwell threw a first quarter touchdown pass and ran for a short score in the second to help lead the Eagles to a 21-0 lead.
The Hornets cut into the deficit on the Black to Gross second quarter touchdown.
Delaware State trailed 21-7 and facing a second and five at its 39 when Black’s pass attempt was intercepted by NCCU defensive back Davant Reynolds and returned 41 yards to the DSU 4. Three plays later, Caldwell scored his second touchdown on a one-yard run to give the Eagles a 28-7 lead with 2:43 to go before halftime.
The Hornets pulled to within 28-14 on the McDaniels to Kollie touchdown with 1:15 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Eagles answered with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Caldwell to Murphy to open up a 35-14 lead.
NCCU added a fourth quarter touchdown on a 36-yard pass to Murphy from back-up QB Naill Ramadan to close out the scoring.
Linebacker Brian Cavicante (so) had a career-high 16 tackles, including three behind the line-of-scrimmage, to lead the Hornet defense.
Safety Jahad Niebauer (so.) recorded 12 tackles, including six solo stops for DSU.
The Hornets return to action next Sat. (Nov. 4) at MEAC rival Savannah State. Game time is 5 p.m. in Savannah, Ga. DSU will play its final home game of the season on Nov. 11 against Morgan State. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
STINGERS Kollie is the second DSU receiver with 100-or-more yards in a game this season … Gross tallied 154 yards on five catches against Howard on Oct. 14 … Delaware State’s 50 pass attempts in the game were its most since matching the total against Delaware on Sep. 8, 2012 … seven players had at least one reception in the game for the Hornets … DSU punter Fidel Romo-Martinez (so.) averaged 45.2 yards on nine kicks in the game … Romo-Martinez was tops in the MEAC and fourth among all FCS punters with a 45.8 yard average entering the contest … Hornet placekicker Wisdom Nzidee (sr.) converted two extra-point kicks to improve to 9-for-9 this season … Nzidee is also 7-for-7 on field goal tries this year … the Hornets played without RB Brycen Alleyne (jr.), RB Mike Waters (so.) and LB Malik Harris (sr.), along with offensive linemen Cade Pedro (so.), Kaiden Crawford (r-fr.) and Kaydence Jackson (fr.) due to injuries, each a starter to begin the season.