Photo: NCAT Athletics

NORFOLK, Va., — North Carolina A&T State is in the driver’s seat heading into the final weekend of the regular season. A win over North Carolina Central and the Aggies win at least a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title and their third straight trip to the Celebration Bowl. If South Carolina State defeats Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T State loses, then the Bulldogs will be Atlanta-bound.

South Carolina State Bulldogs (7-3, 5-2 MEAC) vs. Norfolk State Spartans (5-6, 4-3 MEAC)
Saturday, Nov. 23 • Dick Price Stadium • Norfolk, Va. • 1 p.m.
TV: MEAC Digital Network / ESPN3


South Carolina State running back LaBron Morris ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 24-0 win over North Carolina Central this past Saturday, and South Carolina State is still in the title hunt – a Bulldogs win and an Aggies loss would give South Carolina State the outright MEAC title and Celebration Bowl bid. Meanwhile, Norfolk State’s Bobby Price was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Spartans’ 33-17 win over Delaware State. Price logged six tackles, including three solo, and had an 84-yard pick-six in the third quarter. The Spartans have scored a defensive touchdown in three straight games, and Norfolk State has won three straight games for the first time since 2011. The Spartans’ 330 points in a season are a new program Div. I record, again eclipsing the 2011 team.

North Carolina Central Eagles (4-7, 3-4 MEAC) vs. North Carolina A&T State Aggies (7-3, 5-2 MEAC)
Saturday, Nov. 23 • BB&T Stadium • Greensboro, N.C. • 1 p.m.
TV: ESPN3 (Rebroadcast on ESPNU)

State bragging rights will be on the line as longtime rivals North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central wrap up their season by participating in the Aggie-Eagle Football Classic. In addition, the Aggies will clinch their third straight Celebration Bowl berth with a win, and a win would – at worst – give them a share of the MEAC title. The Aggies have won the last two meetings, including 45-0 last season, and they lead the all-time series 51-34-5 between the two biggest HBCUs in the state. Jah-Maine Martin was named MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his play in the Aggies’ 47-17 win over Bethune-Cookman this past Saturday after running for 120 yards and three scores on 19 carries. The three touchdowns gave him 19 for the season, which breaks the Aggies’ single-season record and ties the school record for total touchdowns. It was his fifth 100-yard game of the season. North Carolina Central’s Darius Royster logged his conference-leading ninth sack of the season in the Eagles’ 24-0 loss to South Carolina State this past weekend.

Morgan State Bears (3-8, 2-5 MEAC) vs. Howard Bison (1-10, 1-6 MEAC)
Saturday, Nov. 23 • Greene Stadium • Washington, D.C. • 1 p.m.
TV: MEAC Digital Network / ESPN3

Manasseh Bailey was named MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his play in Morgan State’s 59-26 win over Virginia University of Lynchburg this past Saturday. Bailey caught five passes for a game-high 177 yards and four touchdowns, including an 87-yard touchdown reception. He became the program leader for touchdown receptions in a season (10) and had his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season. Deandre Harris became the first Bears quarterback to throw five touchdowns in a game since Moses Skillon accomplished the feat against Delaware State in 2014. Howard receiver Kyle Anthony continues to add to his school record for receptions. After catching eight passes for 45 yards in the 39-7 loss to Florida A&M this past weekend, Anthony has 201 career receptions. He is currently tied with Delaware State’s Shaheer McBride for sixth in MEAC history. He will have a chance to break into the top five in his final game this weekend. Howard has won the last two matchups between the local rivals, including 35-26 last season.

Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash (5-6, 3-4 NEC) vs. Delaware State Hornets (2-9, 1-7 MEAC)
Saturday, Nov. 23 • Alumni Stadium • Dover, Del. • 2 p.m.
TV: MEAC Digital Network / ESPN3

Freshman running back Thomas Bertrand-Hudon was named the MEAC Rookie of the Week for his performance in the Hornets’ 33-17 loss to Norfolk State on Saturday. Hudon ran for a career-high 137 yards and had a 48-yard touchdown run, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He became the first Hornet since Emmanual Marc in 2006 to run for 100 yards or more in three consecutive games. Saint Francis snapped a three-game losing streak this past weekend with a 42-8 win over Wagner. Quarterback Jason Brown threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (6-4, 4-3 MEAC) vs. Florida A&M Rattlers (9-1, 7-0 MEAC)
Saturday, Nov. 23 • Camping World Stadium • Orlando, Fla. • 3:30 p.m.
TV: ESPNEWS

Longtime Florida rivals Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M will wrap up their season with the 39th annual Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. The Wildcats have won the last eight meetings, dating back to 2011 – including last year’s 33-19 decision that kept the Rattlers out of the Celebration Bowl. Florida A&M’s Xavier Smith broke the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards with a third-quarter reception, and he also moved into third place in FAMU history with his 11th touchdown catch in the 39-7 win over Howard this past Saturday. Florida A&M finished unbeaten at home and had nine wins for the first time since 2009. Head coach Willie Simmons now joins Rattler legends Rudy Hubard (9-2 in 1975) and Billy Joe (9-3 in 1995) in reaching nine wins in their second season as head coach. Florida A&M won its ninth straight game, which is the second longest winning streak in program history since the 1998 team won 10 straight.

Courtesy: MEAC

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