NC A&T Scores Late To Beat Grambling 21-14, Win 2nd Celebration Bowl

ATLANTA — 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.

THE TAKEAWAY

N.C. A&T: The Aggies became the first MEAC team to go undefeated for an entire season as they continued their run of success under coach Rod Broadway. N.C. A&T is 40-8 with two HBCU national titles in four seasons under Broadway.

Grambling State: The Tigers are back despite failing in their bid for consecutive HBCU national title. Grambling is 38-11 in four seasons under head coach Broderick Fobbs, a former Tigers captain who was hired after the team went 2-21 over two years amid player turmoil.

COACHING CONNECTIONS

Both head coaches have a deep connection with the other team. A&T’s Broadway spent four years at Grambling, leading the Tigers to the 2008 HBCU national championship. Grambling running backs coach Lee Fobbs, the father of coach Broderick Fobbs, was A&T’s head coach from 2006-08.

WATCH: Celebration Bowl Friday Press Conferences

Grambling State Players – Trent Scott, Darrell Clark, Marco Orozco, De’Andre Hogues, De’Arius Christmas

 

Grambling State player press conference at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

Grambling State Head Coach Broderick Fobbs

 

Grambling State Athletics Head Coach Broderick Fobbs press conference from Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

North Carolina A&T Players – Lamar Raynard, Elijah Bell, Jeremy Taylor, Darryl Johnson, Brandon Parker

 

North Carolina A&T Athletics player press conference at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

North Carolina A&T Head Coach Rod Broadway

 

North Carolina A&T Athletics Head Coach Rod Broadway addresses the media at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Posted by Celebration Bowl on Friday, December 15, 2017

Grammy Nominated Singer to Perform National Anthem

ATLANTA – Grammy nominated gospel artist and musician, Jekalyn Carr, has been chosen to sing the national anthem at the 2017 Celebration Bowl with a matchup between two defending champions, North Carolina A&T State University and Grambling State University. This game will kick off the college football bowl season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday, December 16 at noon.

Jekalyn Carr made her debut on the music scene in 2013 when her single Greater Is Coming reached the Top 5 on the Billboard charts. Her background as a singer, speaker and preacher has allowed her to reach new heights in her career.  In 2016, Jekalyn Carr release her album titled “The Life Project” which included her single, You’re Bigger. The Life Project went on to become her first Billboard #1 album.

Carr has also been seen in several television roles including season 2 of OWN Network’s original series Greenleaf and is currently preparing to release her first book, “You Will Win: Inspirational Strategies To Help You Overcome.” The release of her book will coincide with the release of her fourth album, One Nation Under God.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $50 to $175.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For more information, visit www.TheCelebrationBowl.com, and follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.

About ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com

Grambling State Heading to Celebration Bowl For Second Consecutive Year

ATLANTA – The second invitation to the third annual Celebration Bowl – to be played on Saturday, Dec. 16, at noon ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta – has been extended to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion, Grambling State University. The Grambling Tigers defeated the Alcorn Braves 40-32 in Saturday’s SWAC Championship Game.  Executive Director of the Celebration Bowl, John Grant, was on-site at in Houston and presented Grambling State University Coach Broderick Fobbs with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Grambling State for punching their ticket to the Celebration Bowl for the second year in a row,” said Grant. “We are excited for the Tigers to join us in this historic match-up against the North Carolina A&T Aggies and see which team will win their second Celebration Bowl in the past three years!”

For three years straight, Grambling has faced Alcorn State in the SWAC’s title game, and for the second year in a row, the Tigers won the conference title and all bragging rights. Grambling has won 11 straight after a season opening loss at FBS Tulane, rising to #12 in final FCS coaches poll in the process. Looking back further, the Tigers have won 21 straight games vs. FCS opponents, including the 2016 Celebration Bowl vs. North Carolina Central. North Carolina A&T comes into the game undefeated with an 11-game win streak, which earned the Aggies a #7 ranking in the final FCS poll.  The Aggies dominated the MEAC all season, earning 12 of 25 spots on the all-conference first teams.

Establishing itself as the first bowl game of the season, the Celebration Bowl is a postseason football game owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. The game features the MEAC and SWAC champions and will be televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with 100 Black Men of Atlanta to organize the game’s ancillary events which include a youth symposium, robotics showcase, gospel night, fan experience and more. North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural game in 2015. In last year’s game, Grambling State defeated North Carolina Central 10-9.  The two games have had more than 66,000 combined fans cheering their teams and conferences on.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $50 to $175 including taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game is available on the event’s website.

Fans interested in ticket and hospitality packages for the Celebration Bowl can also purchase packages and resell tickets through PRIMESPORT, the Official Ticket Exchange and Gameday Experience Provider of the 2017 Celebration Bowl. As the Official Ticket Exchange and Gameday Experience Provider, PRIMESPORT offers packages for the ultimate game day experience. For more information, please visit PRIMESPORT.com.

For MEAC fans, a special rate of $106/night is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate of $97/night is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available at the Westin Peachtree Plaza for $99/night and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown for $101/night.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com