by Mike Potter
N.C. Central's chances to win its last five games of the season came to an end on Saturday.
But the Eagles almost pulled the game out of the fire.
NCCU overcame a 28-point deficit to tie the game before falling 42-28 at Old Dominion in the Monarchs' homecoming game at Foreman Field.
Thomas DeMarco stayed on his torrid pace, rushing for 224 yards and four touchdowns and throwing for 169 yards another score for ODU (8-2), which is in its first year of football since 1940.
Michael Johnson (pictured) completed 26 of 42 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns for NCCU (2-7). Geo Irvine caught six of the passes for a game-high 87 yards, while also throwing a touchdown pass to Will Scott. Scott had five catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
NCCU linebacker Calvin Hillie was in on 12 tackles, also intercepting a pass to set up Tim Shankle's touchdown with 10:41 left that tied the score at 28-28.
The Eagles got a scare with 8:20 left when tight end Earthan Ward was taken off the field on a medical cart following a frightening hit. But preliminary reports indicated that Ward had not suffered a serious injury.
NCCU will visit long-time rival Winston-Salem State on Nov. 14 before ending its season at home on Nov. 21 against Savannah State.