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Sports

Aggies, Eagles battle for supremacy
Rivals N.C. A&T, N.C. Central clash
 
Published Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:23 am
by Bonitta Best, The Triangle Tribune

Records mean nothing when N.C. Central and N.C. A&T meet. 

The Eagles (5-6, 3-4 MEAC) travel to Greensboro Saturday for the 85th meeting between the two teams. N.C. A&T (6-4, 3-4) leads the series 48-31-5, but the Eagles have won four of the past seven contests. Six of the past eight matchups have been decided by six points or less.

The rivalry was made even more intense when former Eagles coach Rod Broadway took the Aggies job in 2011. Despite a plethora of NCAA sanctions that occurred under his predecessor, including no spring football practice this season, Broadway is 17-16 overall and undefeated against NCCU in his two seasons.

“It’s (game) big,” said Broadway who led NCCU to back-to-back CIAA championships. “I’ve had an opportunity to be on both sides of it. We look forward to it because anything can happen.”

N.C. A&T began the season with a bang with wins over Appalachian State, Elon and Howard. Then the bottom fell out. The team lost its next three games. 

The ship has been righted some, and the defense is ranked No. 2 in Division I-FCS, but Broadway can only wonder “What if?”

“We had a chance to have a big year, but it wasn’t quite good enough,” he said. “We’re disappointed, but we’re not discouraged with where we are. That will come with more practice time. We’re looking forward to next season.”

The Eagles broke a two-game losing streak with a 24-13 victory over Norfolk State on Senior Day. Once again, special teams was the star of the show.

Junior Saayyid Muhammad blocked a Spartans field goal attempt and C.J. Moore returned the ball for a 70-yard touchdown to break open a close game. It’s the fifth straight week special teams has scored a touchdown.

“We have a lot of talent. Sometimes it doesn’t show, but we’ve just got to make the plays,” Moore said Tuesday on NCCU SportsTalk Radio.

An Eagles victory would put the team at .500 for the season. Disappointing, yes, but a win against your archrival would soothe a lot of ruffled feathers.

“Growing up in North Carolina, you hear about it, but you never know how fierce it is until you’re out on the field,” Moore said. “It’s the most competitive game you’re ever going to play in.”

• Notes: Senior linebacker Tazmon Foster needs 12 tackles to become NCCU’s single-season record-holder.

 

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