N.C. Central beats St. Aug's in two overtimes

CorrespondentSeptember 7, 2013 

— N.C. Central quarterback Jordan Reid had been beaten, battered and bruised. But the senior took his lumps like a team captain and led the Eagles to a 23-20 come-from-behind double overtime win over former Division II CIAA foe St. Augustine’s Saturday at O-Kelly-Riddick Stadium

“The coaches criticized me last week (against Duke) and said I wasn’t the dual-threat guy I was supposed to be,” said Reid who completed 24 of 43 passes for 253 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. “I want to establish myself as a dual threat and that’s what I tried to do today.”

The Eagles trailed 13-6 with 6:18 left in the game after Falcons quarterback A.J. Gilford – playing in his first game as a starter – hit receiver Brian Richards from 6 yards out. A key play came when St. Aug’s faked the point-after and went for a two-point conversion, which would have given the team a 15-point lead, but the attempt failed.

“They gave us the opportunity, so we took it. We needed it,” St. Aug’s coach Michael Costa said. “We had already missed a kick. Take special teams out of the game, and we win the ball game.”

The Eagles game-tying drive began at their own 46-yard line with 2:33 left in regulation. Reid took complete control in the nine-play drive – throwing on seven of the plays and rushing for the other two. He completed the deal with a 2-yard dump-off to receiver Adrian Wilkins to tie the game with 25 seconds left and eventually sending it into overtime.

“Jordan is special,” interim coach Dwayne Foster said. “We look to him to lead us and make good decisions.”

In overtime, offenses begin at the 25-yard line. The Falcons quickly retook the lead on their second play from scrimmage when Gilford found receiver Jermaine Jones. NCCU tied it at 20-all on Reid’s 4-yard scamper.

St. Aug’s committed its only turnover of the game in the second overtime when Eagles cornerback Michael Jones intercepted Gilford and rumbled 80 yards in the other direction to the 2. But in overtime, a defender must score or else possession returns to the 25. After having their drive stopped at the 2, place-kicker Oleg Parents, who missed an earlier 25-yard attempt, nailed a 19-yarder for the win.

“The guys played with poise, heart and determination. They never gave up in the third and fourth quarters,” Foster said. “Our defense kept us in the game.”

Defense was the star of the show for both teams in a scoreless first half.

The Falcons twice stopped the Eagles on fourth-and-1. St. Aug’s had its best chance to go ahead with 20 seconds left in the half. Gilford threw what appeared to be a touchdown strike to a streaking Jones, but Jones dropped the ball as he fell in the end zone.

St. Aug’s kicker Michael Lima missed a 51-yard attempt, but the Eagles were called for roughing the kicker. Ten yards closer, Lima missed a 36-yarder to end the half.

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