ATLANTA, GEORGIA - North Carolina A&T won its second Celebration Bowl in the game’s three-year history, knocking off the defending HBCU national champions in Grambling State, 21-14, all while completing an undefeated season at 12-0.
The Aggies became the first team in MEAC history to finish a season undefeated winning 12 games in 2017. NC A&T has 59 wins in seven seasons with Rod Broadway as their head coach, while the Aggies won only 15 games total in the seven seasons before Broadway was hired.
Here's how it happened -- Lamar Raynard scored on a 1-yard sneak with 38 seconds left and unbeaten North Carolina A&T won its second Celebration Bowl in three years, defeating Grambling State 21-14 on Saturday.
N.C. A&T (12-0) won its fourth Historically Black College and University national championship. The Aggies claimed titles in 1990 and 1999 in addition to 2015, when they defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the first Celebration Bowl.
Raynard, one of four finalists for the Black College Hall of Fame player of the year, completed 23 of 43 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown and had 17 yards on eight carries.
The junior quarterback drove the Aggies 56 yards in seven plays for the winning touchdown, shaking off nearly throwing his third interception. Grambling (11-2) challenged, but the pass was ruled incomplete.
Grambling was trying for a second straight HBCU national title as the Tigers edged North Carolina Central 10-9 last year.
Grambling quarterback DeVante Kincade, also a finalist for player of the year, completed 19 of 36 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns while also scrambling for 93 yards on the ground.
Franklin McCain III ended a Grambling drive following the second-half kickoff with an interception at the goal line and N.C. A&T marched down the field to go ahead 14-7 on Marquell Cartwright's 30-yard run.
Grambling tied it early in the fourth quarter as Martez Carter teamed with Kincade on a 29-yard TD pass to cap an 80-yard drive.
N.C. A&T's Lyndemian Brooks recovered a fumble at the Grambling 8 in the fourth quarter, but the Aggies came up empty when Cartwright tried to punch it in from a yard out on fourth down and was stopped by defensive end Brandon Varner.
Grambling went six plays on its final drive of the game but Kincade's pass over the middle was incomplete as time expired.
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