WILBERFORCE — The Central State University Marauders jumped out to an early lead and notched a 44-38 homecoming college football victory over North Carolina Pembroke, Oct. 13 at CSU’s McPherson Stadium.
CSU scored on the first play of the game as receiver Kevin Greenhow took a short pass from Trent Mays 70 yards for a score.
UNCP responded with a 10-play, 47-yard drive resulting in a 27-yard field goal by Alex Alvarado.
The Marauders extended their lead with a nine-play drive covering 79 yards. Running back Terraris Saffold scored from 5 yards out with 6:23 left in the first quarter for a 14-3 lead that would reach 21-10 after one thanks to another Mays-to-Greenhow pass.
UNCP cut the deficit to 21-17 early in the second after a fumbled punt snap gave the Braves a short field. Another Saffold scoring run made the score 28-17 late in the half and after UNCP cut it to 28-24 with 54 seconds left, kicker Trevor Teel hit a 37-yarder as time expired to give CSU a 31-24 halftime lead.
UNCP started its first drive of the second half on the CSU 26-yard line and quickly tied it at 31-all.
After a fake punt helped CSU maintain the ball on its next possession, Mays scored on an 18-yard run, but a missed extra point left CSU up by six with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
UNCP chewed up 6:25 off the clock to move 67-yards in 11 plays and take a 38-37 lead into the fourth.
Saffold ran for his third score to give CSU the lead for good, 44-38, with 6:35 left.
“It was an outstanding performance by our offense today,” CSU coach Cedric Pearl said. “The defense has been playing well all season and stepped up in some critical moments as the game unfolded. We are really proud that we could deliver a win on homecoming in front of a great crowd today.”
Greenhow finished with a season-high 155 receiving yards along with two touchdowns. Mays finished completed 14 of 24 passes for 284 yards and two scores. He also ran for 66 yards and one touchdown. Saffold ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
Kailen Abrams led CSU defenders with a game-high 13 tackles.
“We look forward to our homecoming game every year and it means a lot to be able to win as a senior,” Mays said. “Coach Pearl put together an excellent game plan and it worked. My goal was to take advantage of the coverages that they were giving us. We will celebrate the win tonight, but our attention will immediately turn to a good opponent next week in Robert Morris University.”
With the win, CSU improves to 4-3 overall. UNCP drops to 1-4.
For more information at Central State University athletics, please go to maraudersports.com .