By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
DURHAM, N.C. – It didn't take long for Tennessee Tech to take control of the football game on Saturday against N.C. Central.
The host Eagles attempted to punt the ball away, but Aidan Raines blocked the punt and NC Central recovered the ball on its own 2-yard-line to turn the ball over on downs. A penalty against NCCU moved the ball up a yard to the one, and on the Golden Eagles' first offensive play of the game, Willie Miller pushed forward for a touchdown with 13:32 remaining on the clock in the first stanza.
Tennessee Tech never looked back. The Golden Eagles took their second straight win on Saturday, topping NCCU 27-16.
While David Gist didn't get a rushing score in the game, he did set his career-high in rushing yardage for the second week in a row, picking up 143 yards on 19 carries, averaging 7.5 yards per rush.
Jordan Brown (eight carries for 25 yards) and Miller (eight carries for 24 yards) both had rushing touchdowns. Gist did catch a touchdown pass though as he hauled in two lobs from Miller for 19 yards, including an 18-yard scoring play.
Hayden Olsen completed the scoring with two 46-yard field goals and three PATs for nine total points.
Miller ended the game with 145 passing yards on an 11-for-22 effort, although throwing one interception.
Defensively, Kail Dava and A.J. Hall had solo sacks, while Chris Tucker and Christian Cantrell assisted on another. Seth Carlisle led the Golden Eagles with eight tackles, while Samari Burns had four.
After Tech's first score, NCCU was held to a field goal as Adrian Olivo connected from 34 yards out to make it a 7-3 game at the end of the first quarter. The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 21-3 at the intermission, then the score stayed steady until the fourth quarter home until Andrew Smith caught a 48-yard touchdown strike from Davius Richard. The PAT made it 21-10 with 8:18 remaining in the game.
Tech had two more scoring drives ending with Olsen field goals, but NCCU was able to put one more score on the board with seven seconds remaining in the game as Richard threw a nine-yard strike to the end zone with Devin Smith hauling it in.
Richard threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns on a 32-for-48 day in the rain, completing 10 passes for 81 yards to Ryan McDaniel. Tech held the Eagles to 58 yards on the ground.
The Golden Eagles (2-4) return to action next week as they return to Ohio Valley Conference play, traveling to Nashville and Nissan Stadium to take on Tennessee State. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.