DJ Khaled must have been watching video clips of North Carolina A&T over the last few years before writing the smash hit “All I Do is Win”. Maybe not, but on Saturday the Aggies won their third HBCU Football National Championships in four years defeating SWAC champion Alcorn State 24-22.
The 2018 game was a rematch of the first Celebration Bowl that gave the Aggies their first Championship and Offensive MVP Tarik Cohen a spot on the Chicago Bears.
Quarterback Lamar Raynard learned enough watching from the sidelines in the first game to lead the Aggies to consecutive Championships in 2017 and 2018. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 292 yards.
Raynard goes out on top as a champion and holder of multiple school records. “I really can’t describe it,” said the red-shirt senior. “It hasn’t hit me yet. I’m gonna miss my guys. I’m glad we could go out on top today because we really wanted this as a team. It just feels amazing to be on the winning end again and to have 3 celebration bowl championships.”
The win almost did not happen. At the top of the fourth quarter and North Carolina A&T ahead 24-16, Braves quarterback Noah Johnson burst through the middle of the Aggies defense for a 59 yard touchdown. Rather than go for the point after kick, Head Coach Fred McNair called for the 2-point conversion. Johnson’s pass found wide receiver Dayall Harris in the back of the end zone. After a conference between the officials, the pass was ruled incomplete.
“They just said it was confirmed it was incomplete,” McNair said. “I’ve been in football a long time and I know how instant reply works. I was looking for his foot was out of bounds or I was looking for a juggle, just tell me something. But there wasn’t (an explanation).”
all photos by Jake McDonald, CORE360 Sports