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DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University scored nine touchdowns during a 65-7 home-opening victory over Saint Augustine’s University on Saturday inside O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium. But it was a 2-yard rumble into the end zone by senior center Carl Jones, who lined up in the backfield for his first career score, that highlighted the night.nccu eagle head

NCCU’s offensive output against the Falcons broke one school record and came close to a few others. The Eagles tallied 32 first downs, the most in school history. NCCU’s 676 yards of total offense ranks second only to the 684 total yards amassed by the 1982 Eagles against Bowie State. The 414 passing yards on Saturday places fourth in the NCCU record books and are the most by the Eagles since 1988.

NCCU senior quarterback Malcolm Bell accounted for 270 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air, while he also rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Bell spread the wealth in the passing attack, connecting with nine different receivers. His favorite target was senior receiver Quentin Atkinson, who finished with six catches for 95 yards, followed by David Miller with four receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Wilkes made the most of his two catches, finding the end zone both times on plays of 27 and 32 yards. True freshman tight end Maleek Henderson caught three passes for 28 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown, the first of his career.

NCCU enjoyed a steady ground game as well, accumulating 262 rushing yards for an average of 6.4 yards per carry. Sophomore Dorrel McClain recorded 130 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns, while back-up quarterback Naiil Ramadan also scored on a 7-yard scamper. The redshirt freshman also passed for 144 yards and a touchdown.

NCCU junior punter Nathaniel Tilque almost had the night off, but he made the most of his one punt… a 58-yard boot that pinned the Falcons at their own 2-yard line.

Sophomore safety Alden McClellon topped the NCCU defensive effort with 10 tackles, including one of the Eagles 10 stops for a loss. The unit’s three sacks were posted by linebacker Reggie Hunter (6 tackles), and defensive ends Kawuan Cox (4 tackles) and Antonio Brown (4 tackles). Cox also contributed another hit for a loss and a forced fumble, which he recovered.

Saint Augustine’s (0-3) finished with 246 yards of total offense, most coming by way of sophomore quarterback D.J. Johnson with 193 yards passing and 26 yards rushing. Johnson connected with Sam Boyd on a 40-yard touchdown in the second quarter for the Falcons lone score.

NCCU (1-2) now prepares for conference play as the Eagles visit MEAC foe Norfolk State University on Sept. 24 in Virginia.

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