Kylil Carter's 6 TDs Lead North Carolina A&T to 64-44 Celebration Bowl Win

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2019

North Carolina A&T's Kylil Carter (10) looks to pass the ball against the Duke during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

The North Carolina A&T Aggies extended their run of postseason success Saturday with a 64-44 victory over the Alcorn State Braves in the 2019 Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

N.C. A&T has now won the Celebration Bowl four times in the past five years, including three consecutive triumphs in the game featuring top teams from the FCS' MEAC and SWAC. The Aggies have defeated the Braves to take home the title in 2015, 2018 and now 2019.

Alcorn State overcame a sluggish 1-2 start to the season by winning eight of its next nine games, including a win over the Southern Jaguars in the SWAC Championship Game, to earn a berth in the Celebration Bowl.


Notable Game Stats

QB Kylil Carter (A&T): 18-of-30 passing, 364 yards, 6 TD, 0 INT; 96 rushing yards

QB Felix Harper (ASU): 25-of-42 passing, 341 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 2 rushing TD

RB Jah-Maine Martin (A&T): 110 rushing yards, 2 TD

RB De'Shawn Waller (ASU): 59 rushing yards, 1 TD

WR Korey Banks (A&T): 122 receiving yards, 2 TD

WR Elijah Bell (A&T): 73 receiving yards, 2 TD

WR Zachary Leslie (A&T): 81 receiving yards, 1 TD

WR Ron Hunt (A&T): 43 receiving yards, 1 TD

WR Chris Blair (ASU): 135 receiving yards, 1 TD

WR Raidarious Anderson (ASU): 85 receiving yards, 1 TD

TE Nigel Wood (ASU): 13 receiving yards, 1 TD


Big Plays, Atmosphere Making Celebration Bowl An Annual Must-See Event

Bowl fatigue is real. There are 41 games played in just over three weeks, and it can be difficult for even the most diehard of college football fans to remain engaged all the way from Friday's Bahamas Bowl to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 13.

That's why it's important for each bowl to stand out from the crowd.

Celebration Bowl @CelebrationBowl

Double coverage?? No problem for Kylil Carter @NCATAGGIES on top early in the 2nd quarter @MEACSports @TheUndefeated #CelebrationBowl https://t.co/rqos6xJqFB

The Celebration Bowl has done that since its debut in 2015. Although it doesn't have the history of its counterparts and features FCS schools rather than FBS, the atmosphere created by fans is on par with any game outside of the CFP contests.

Celebration Bowl @CelebrationBowl

Chris Blair put the move on 'em!! 😮😮😮 @BRAVESSPORTS @theswac #FearTheBrave #CelebrationBowl https://t.co/GIB9q0Gyjd

A battle of the bands at halftime added to that ambiance Saturday with the N.C. A&T band, which The Undefeated ranked as the No. 1 band from historically black colleges and universities this season, stealing the show with a terrific performance.

Meanwhile, the level of play remains high with top teams from a pair of FCS conferences. It's a better storyline than a couple of middling 6-6 squads from the FBS.

Celebration Bowl @CelebrationBowl

Zachary Leslie can do double moves too @NCATAGGIES back on top! #AGGIEPRIDE #Celebration Bowl https://t.co/YjPDk3v3dW

Each of the first four Celebration Bowl games were decided by a single score, and while the Aggies' margin of victory was a little bigger Saturday, there were still plenty of highlights for both sides.

Celebration Bowl @CelebrationBowl

JAH-MAINE MARTIN! The @NCAA_FCS leader in yards per carry (7.81) takes this one 75 yards to the house (and into the tunnel.....) @NCATAGGIES in control early 3rd quarter #CelebrationBowl https://t.co/ozgaHXMnxb

The game featured 1,034 combined yards, 108 points and 45 first downs. There were seven touchdowns of at least 35 yards, including a 75-yard scoring dash by Jah-Maine Martin to open the third quarter for A&T.

Celebration Bowl @CelebrationBowl

4⃣ TD passes 4⃣ different receivers Kylil Carter is on 🔥🔥🔥 in his hometown of Atlanta @NCATAGGIES @MEACSports https://t.co/g851WhXWdV

Things really popped off in the third quarter, when the first seven drives of the second half went for touchdowns.

Celebration Bowl @CelebrationBowl

RIGHT BACK AT YA! Another quick response from @BRAVESSPORTS! There are 76 total points on the board and we're only only in the 3rd Quarter! #CelebrationBowl https://t.co/fZ2Y9wvAi9

Perhaps the Celebration Bowl isn't for those fixated on low-scoring defensive battles, though the Grambling State Tigers did beat the North Carolina Central Eagles 10-9 in the 2016 edition of the game. But everything about the game, both on the field and off, screams fun.

And there's no doubt bowl season needs more of that.