DURHAM, N.C. – Saint Augustine’s University opened the 2015 football season with a tough loss to Division I North Carolina Central University at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium on Saturday, September 5.
The defeat stung the team, but Head Coach Michael Morand quickly put the game behind him. His attention had already turned to Virginia Union, the Falcons’ opponent next Saturday.
“After practicing against each other in the preseason, our young guys got a chance to play against a good opponent [North Carolina Central],” Morand said after the 72-0 defeat. “Now they know what to do to get better. We should be ready to rock and roll against the next nine opponents, and they will be CIAA teams.”
North Carolina Central (1-0 overall) is the only Division I team on the Falcons’ schedule this season. The Eagles, who were former CIAA members, is now part of the Football Championship Subdivision, which is a higher level than the Division II classification of which the Falcons are members.
The difference in levels quickly showed as the contest got away from the Falcons early. The Eagles scored on a blocked punt with less than three minutes elapsed and never looked back.
Despite the loss, the Falcons provided several highlights. Cornerback Denzel Watkins (Sr./Troutman, NC), whose eight tackles tied for the highest on the team, jarred the ball loose with a big hit in the first quarter. Unfortunately, the Eagles recovered the fumble for a touchdown after the ball rolled in the end zone.
Linebacker Terry Warren (So./Franklin, VA) tied Watkins with eight tackles, and cornerback Darius Cole (Fr./Pittsboro, NC) intercepted a pass. Offensively, wide receiver Jamal Parker (Sr./Hampton, VA) was the Falcons’ biggest weapon. He caught three passes for 78 yards including a 50-yard reception after nearly outrunning the Eagle defenders on a screen play.
The potential Morand saw from those players and their teammates on Saturday gives him confidence that the Falcons will bounce back against Virginia Union.
“We are going back to the drawing board, watch film and get better on offense, defense and special teams,” Morand said.
— Office of Sports Information