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2018 Celebration Bowl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2018 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl
4th Celebration Bowl
1234 Total
North Carolina A&T 71070 24
Alcorn State 33106 22
DateDecember 15, 2018
StadiumMercedes-Benz Stadium
LocationAtlanta, Georgia
MVPLamar Raynard (QB, NC A&T) & Richie Kittle (DB, NC A&T)
FavoriteNorth Carolina A&T by 7.5[1]
RefereeJustin Elliot (Conference USA)
Attendance31,672 (tickets sold)[2]
20,069 (head count)[3]
United States TV coverage
NetworkABC & Gameday Radio
AnnouncersMark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Jay Walker, Molly McGrath, and Roddy Jones (ABC)
Andy Demetra, Randy McMichael, and Lericia Harris (Gameday Radio)
International TV coverage
NetworkESPN Deportes
AnnouncersRoger Valdivieso and Alex Pambo
 Celebration Bowl 
 <  2017   2019

The 2018 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl was a college football bowl game that was played on December 15, 2018, with kickoff at 12:00 p.m. EST. It was the first game of the 2018–19 bowl season,[4] and the only bowl to feature FCS teams. It was the fourth edition of the Celebration Bowl and the final game of the 2018 NCAA Division I FCS football season for the participating teams. The Air Force Reserve resumed its role as the title sponsor[5] after a one-year absence.[6]

In the game, the North Carolina A&T Aggies, champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, defeated the Alcorn State Braves, champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, 24–22.


The participants for the game are based upon the final regular season standings which determine the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football champion, and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football championship game that determines the representative from that conference.

North Carolina A&T Aggies

The North Carolina A&T Aggies (NC A&T) were announced as the MEAC representative on November 17, following the conclusion of games involving itself and Florida A&M (FAMU), the conference front-runners. As outlined in the conference tiebreaker rules, due to defeating NC A&T earlier in the season, a FAMU victory at the Florida Classic would have given the Rattlers the Celebration Bowl bid and at least a share of the MEAC championship regardless of the outcome of NC A&T's game.[7] However, FAMU lost the Florida Classic to arch-rival Bethune-Cookman, 33–19, while NC A&T defeated North Carolina Central, 45–0, giving them the conference championship and Celebration Bowl bid.[8][9]

NC A&T, lead by first-year head coach Sam Washington, entered the season ranked number 14 in the AFCA preseason poll, number 13 in the STATS FCS top 25 poll, and number one in the BoxtoRow polls as the defending HBCU National Champions.[10][11] The Aggies were also unanimously picked as the favorites to repeat as MEAC champions.[12] The Aggies finished their 2018 regular season at 9–2 (6–1 in MEAC)—with key victories over Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State and in-state FBS foe East Carolina—and entered the Celebration Bowl ranked number 11 by STATS. This was the third Celebration Bowl appearance for NC A&T, following their victory over the Grambling Tigers in the 2017 Celebration Bowl, 21–14.

Alcorn State Braves

Alcorn State defeated Southern in the SWAC Championship Game on December 1 to secure their berth in the Celebration Bowl.[13] Led by third-year head coach Fred McNair, the Braves were ranked third in the BoxtoRow HBCU preseason poll, voted to win the SWAC East division.[14] The Braves enter the bowl with a 9–3 record (6–1 in conference regular season play).

Game summary

Scoring summary

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
1 12:38 5 65 2:22 NCAT Zachary Leslie 17-yard touchdown reception from Lamar Raynard, Noel Ruiz kick good 7 0
1 2:52 15 84 7:12 ALCN 29-yard field goal by Corey McCullough 7 3
2 8:33 4 8 1:01 NCAT 36-yard field goal by Noel Ruiz 10 3
2 0:53 6 70 2:30 NCAT Elijah Bell 27-yard touchdown reception from Lamar Raynard, Noel Ruiz kick good 17 3
2 0:00 8 67 0:53 ALCN 25-yard field goal by Corey McCullough 17 6
3 4:29 4 86 1:08 ALCN Noah Johnson 30-yard touchdown run, Corey McCullough kick good 17 13
3 0:51 5 53 0:55 ALCN 29-yard field goal by Corey McCullough 17 16
3 0:38 NCAT Malik Wilson 79-yard kickoff return for touchdown, Noel Ruiz kick good 24 16
4 11:55 9 92 3:36 ALCN Noah Johnson 59-yard touchdown run, 2-point pass failed 24 22
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 24 22


1 2 3 4 Total
Aggies 7 10 7 0 24
Braves 3 3 10 6 22
Statistics NCAT ALCN
First downs 17 20
Plays–yards 62–324 68–451
Rushes–yards 31–38 39–328
Passing yards 286 123
Passing: Comp–Att–Int 19–31–1 12–29–1
Time of possession 32:02 27:58
Team Category Player Statistics
North Carolina A&T Passing Lamar Raynard 18/30, 292 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Jah-Maine Martin 10 car, 31 yds
Receiving Zachary Leslie 6 rec, 119 yds, 1 TD
Alcorn State Passing Noah Johnson 11/27, 128 yds, 1 INT
Rushing De'Shawn Waller 19 car, 167 yds
Receiving Juan Anthony 5 rec, 75 yds


  1. ^ Fawkes, Ben (December 3, 2018). "Odds for every 2018-19 CFB bowl game". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Tucker, Tim (February 25, 2019). "Falcons, other events at Mercedes-Benz draw smaller crowds than announced". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  4. ^ Moore, Grayson (May 2, 2018). "Celebration Bowl Set for December 15, Will Open 2018 Bowl Season on ABC".
  5. ^ Anna Negron (October 9, 2018). "Air Force Reserve Renews Its Title Sponsorship of the Celebration Bowl". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Mark W. Wright (July 19, 2017). "SWAC bets big on the Celebration Bowl: League drops its own championship to focus on the money and TV exposure of the HBCU title contest". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Sports, HBCU (14 November 2018). "Road to Celebration Bowl: MEAC releases football tiebreaker scenarios". HBCU Sports. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  8. ^ Sharrock, Rory. "Late turnover results in heartbreaking loss for FAMU". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  9. ^ Wilkerson, Brant. "A fitting celebration as Aggies learn their Celebration Bowl fate". Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  10. ^ "A&T football team ranked 14th in preseason coaches poll". Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  11. ^ "BOXTOROW Coaches Poll: North Carolina A&T no stranger to the top spot in preseason poll". BOXTOROW. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  12. ^ "North Carolina A&T State Picked To Win 2018 MEAC Championship". Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. July 27, 2018.
  13. ^ "Alcorn State beats Southern 37-28 in SWAC championship". ESPN. December 1, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "SWAC FOOTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE PRESEASON TEAMS RELEASED". Southwestern Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2 December 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 April 2019, at 00:10
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