NCCU comes up short despite Wilkins' KO return magic
N.C. Central’s Adrian Wilkins returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, his third kick return score of the season, but Hampton answered with three straight scores and was on its way to a 29-21 MEAC home win.
Central (4-6, 2-4 MEAC) did answer the Pirates with an 8-yard scoring run by Deyonta Wright to cut the lead to 17-14 with 6:54 left in the first half, but Hampton came back with a 42-yard Anthony Prevost field goal with 35 seconds left and added a Jorrian Washington 7-yard run with 8:58 left in the third quarter to expand the lead to 26-14.
NCCU didn’t score again until quarterback Jordan Reid capped a nine-play, 62-yard drive with a 14-yard TD run with 4:35 left in the game to get the Eagles within reach at 26-21, but Hampton (4-6, 4-2 MEAC) played keep-away, covering 59 yards in 3:17 and closing it with Prevost’s 33-yard field goal with 1:18 left.
Central marched down the field to the Hampton 35-yard line as the clock wound down but Reid’s final pass was intercepted by Calvin Johnson to seal the win for Hampton.
Wilkins’ kickoff return to open the game was the 12th NCCU special teams’ return score since the start of the 2012 season — the most in Division I FCS (formerly I-AA) .
It also marked the fourth straight game in which the Eagles have scored on a punt or kick return.
The Pirates dominated throughout and took advantage of three NCCU turnovers — two interceptions thrown by Reid and a fumble — to exacerbate the pain. Hampton ran for 256 yards on 62 carries and added another 226 yards through the air on 21 of 31 passing for 482 total yards.
NCCU ran 30 times for 91 yards and Reid (15 for 35) passed for another 203 for a total of 294 yards.
Hampton racked up 27 first downs to NCCU’s 15 and controlled the time of possession 30:56 to 23:02.
NOTES — Hampton’s Anthony Prevost made three field goals on the day but missed his first of the year in the third quarter. Marcus Hampton rushed for 166 yards and a score and Antwon Chisholm caught eight balls for 89 yards for the Pirates.
|HAMPTON 29, NC CENTRAL 21|
NCCe_Wilkins 96 kickoff return (Parent kick), 14:41.
Hamp_FG Prevost 22, 6:43.
Hamp_Hampton 7 run (Prevost kick), 14:46.
Hamp_Washington 2 run (Prevost kick), 10:03.
NCCe_Wright 8 run (Parent kick), 6:54.
Hamp_FG Prevost 42, :35.
Hamp_Washington 7 run (kick failed), 8:58.
NCCe_Reid 14 run (Parent kick), 4:35.
Hamp_FG Prevost 33, 1:18.
|Time of Possession||23:02||30:56|
RUSHING_NC Central, Wright 11-48, Clarke 7-31, Reid 10-5,
Swinson 1-4, Wilkins 1-3. Hampton, Hampton 16-166, Washington 22-72,
Bailey 12-13, Dukes 4-8, Chisholm 6-4, Team 2-(minus 7).
PASSING_NC Central, Reid 15-35-2-203. Hampton, Bailey 21-31-0-226.
RECEIVING_NC Central, T.Harris 3-68, Wilkins 3-37, Dixon 3-19,
Poole 2-51, D.Johnson 2-15, Wright 1-9, Tate 1-4. Hampton,
Chisholm 8-89, Shorter 5-53, Mixson 2-26, Kisedu 1-22, Washington 1-12,
Hampton 1-10, Proctor 1-7, Gooding 1-4, Dukes 1-3.