The bowl game that kicked off the College Football bowl season was something to be celebrated. HBCU fans came from all over to see the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. ESPN’s “SportsCenter on the Road” was here before the game and FANS stood outside of the Dome to be a part of the experience. You could feel the energy rising as you walked towards the Dome. Once you were inside of the Georgia Dome the battle lines were drawn: MEAC Champion North Carolina A&T on one side and SWAC Champion Alcorn State University on the other.
The first half was dominated by North Carolina A&T and it wasn’t until Alcorn State University intercepted a pass late in the 2nd quarter that helped to shift momentum their way. At halftime, many fans tweeted they felt like NC A&T won the battle of the bands and SportsCenter did a twitter poll to see who won. As the second half began, Alcorn State kept the momentum going and both teams offenses stepped up. Once the game was tied at 34 FANS all over the Dome stayed in their seats to see who would win the “HBCU National Championship Game”. Our #FansFavorite player of the game was NC A&T Running Back Tarik Cohen who ran for 353 yards in this bowl game. Tarik’s 73 yard touchdown with 4:07 remaining in the 4th quarter put the Aggies on top 41-34. Alcorn State tried to answer back, but the Braves’ comeback fell short in the dying seconds.
Today wasn’t just a win for NC A&T; it was a WIN for all Historically Black Colleges & Universities. ESPN backed this Bowl game and this game was televised over-the-air on ABC. It is important for student-athletes and fans to watch games like this.
Tarik Cohen during the post game press conference stated, “This is a way to get HBCUs back on the map and for other players being recruited to see how some of the top players in the NFL Hall of Fame come from HBCUs.” We saw some great HOF future candidates play today here at the Dome and it was indeed a celebration!