UCLA led 35-0 at halftime (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

The UCLA Bruins competed against the North Carolina Central Eagles in their second annual Black Excellence Game. The Bruins won 59-7.

Both UCLA quarterback Dante Moore and running back Anthony Adkins had connections to HBCUs.

“My sister goes to an HBCU school actually, she goes to Delaware State,” Moore said. “I’ve been to HBCU schools and understand the history.”

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Eagles running back Chris Mosley (35) scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Adkins noted how he had friends who attended Morehouse and Howard.

“Just learning from them and learning how they really looked at Black excellence, it means a lot,” Adkins said. “I hold a lot of these values.”

Prior to the start of the game, the UCLA Black Alumni Association hosted a joint tailgate with NCCU. The tailgate featured performances by the UCLA Alumni Marching Band, the North Carolina Central Sound Machine marching band, the UCLA marching band and the Bruinettes dance team.

Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. performed during the UCLA vs NCCU game (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

“I hope the current students gain exposure to a new place if they’ve never been to the west coast and just the opportunity to see their Eagles come from all over,” said vice president of the NCCU California Alumni chapter Destiny Owens MFA.

UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond spoke at the tailgate and explained how his mother attended NCCU. UCLA executive vice chancellor and provost Dr. Darnell Hunt also spoke, talking about the expansion will see in the near future.

“I’m hoping that this tradition will continue,” said UCLA Black Graduate Student Association president and Graduate Student Association vice president Sonya Brooks. “It’s so important, not only for communities but for every other Black person to see all this Black excellence.”

LAUSD Board candidate and UCLA alum DeWayne Davis noted how the tailgate provided a networking opportunity between the Bruins and the Eagles.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. performed during the UCLA vs NCCU game (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

“I think it’s a great opportunity to do some cross-cultural events,” Davis said. “With UCLA being a predominately white institution, oftentimes we as individuals  … don’t often get a chance to see Historically Black Colleges and Universities represented in our town.”

The Tailgate included a DJ, bar, and soul food.

“It’s a very great opportunity …. For the school, for the alumni and the players to expand and bring awareness to the university [for] future students,” said NCCU class of ’94 alum Carlton Johnson.

UCLA played five different quarterbacks in the matchup, including senior Chase Griffin and former Inglewood stand-out Justyn Martin.

The NCCU Sound Machine marching band marches out of the Rose Bowl Stadium (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Dante Moore led the Bruin signal callers with eight passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Eagles quarterback Walker Harris made 12 throws for 114 yards.

“I thought [Moore] did a really good job, again,” and  “He’s extremely poised. He does a great job throwing the ball and giving guys catchable balls when there’s territory there. I think he fits the ball in really well.”

The Bruins showcased their proficiency with moving the ball on the ground with their six rushing touchdowns and 404 running yards.

Despite the loss, the Eagles made highlights in the matchup. Linebacker Jayden Flaker secured an interception in the third quarter. Lawndale alum Thomas Johnson and fellow defensive lineman Christian Smith combined for a sack.

Running back Chris Mosley scored NCCU’s only touchdown.

“I thought we played awful in the first half. We played a little bit better in the third quarter, and then we played a little bit better in the fourth quarter,” said NCCU head coach Trei Oliver. “Our guys did not give up. We got beat up pretty bad, but our guys did not quit, so that was a plus.”

The Bruins will travel to battle the Utah Runnin’ Utes on September 23 at 12:30P.M.