In front of 31,000 fans and the world, a very debatable failed two point conversion attempt ended up being the difference at the 2018 Celebration Bowl for the Alcorn State Braves.
The Braves came close to eliminating a 17-3 deficit, but fell 24-22 to North Carolina A&T.
“I really don’t care about my season,we lost,” said Braves quarterback Noah Johnson. “We lost the HBCU national championship. I really don’t care about what season we had, who cares, we lost the national championship. Nothing else really matters.”
Emotions ran high for Johnson after a very controversial play that cost the Braves the game against the Aggies. It was more heart wrenching for head coach Fred McNair.
“No one said what was the explanation,” said McNair. “They just said it was confirmed, it was incomplete, I’ve been in football a long time and I know how instant reply is but it’s just different, I was looking for his foot was out of bounds or I was looking for a juggle, just tell me something. But it wasn’t one.”
Despite that, the Braves put up winning numbers against the North Carolina A&T, outgaining them 451-324, including a 328-94 in rushing yards and Johnson running for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. McNair said through it all, he’s still proud of his guys.
“I’m proud of them guys man, I’m proud of the way they really compete this whole season,” said McNair. “I told them, in life there’s adversity that strikes, so hopefully you know the way they approached this game is the way they approached life, if it strike you know, you gotta bounce back from it.. With those young men in that locker room, they care about each other it’s a family hood, and they want to cherish this moment for rest of their lives.”
And for the exiting seniors, McNair give them this piece of advice.
“Life going to continue on, so they got to get ready to face the real world. That’s the thing we have to pass on to these young men, that life goes on, it continues.”