"I think we got better in a whole bunch of things tonight that we were weak in the earlier weeks," Stevenson said. "In weeks one, two and three we came out hard, but we couldn't finish. I think we did a little better job of finishing tonight. I think we can build on this and do something."
After the Bluejays opened the game with a 65-yard drive capped by a 49-yard run by Jamaul Gray, the Eagles went on to score 28 unanswered points to end the first half.
Answering Charleston's score quickly, NMCC marched 68-yards down the field after the ensuing kickoff to tie the game with Stevenson running it in from 1-yard out to finish the drive.
LeMonte Nelson scored the go-ahead touchdown when, after penalties and a sack left the Eagles with 2nd-and-goal on their own 40-yard line, Nelson broke off a 60-yard run to the end zone, putting NMCC up 16-6 with the failed 2-point conversion.
"Unbelievable," NMCC coach Arlen Pixley said about Nelson's play. "(Nelson) was just fortunate to make a play. He kept his feet moving, broke a few tackles and they missed a few.
"I don't know if any team in the country is proud about (second) and goal from their 40 and they score on the next play from an offensive standpoint or a defensive standpoint. Great play for us at that time."
Finishing off the half, Stevenson connected with Jamareia Jones for an 11-yard touchdown strike, followed by Stevenson rushing it in from 16 yards out, making it a 28-6 game after two successful 2-point conversions.
Though Charleston answered with 14 points in the second half, NMCC showed no signs of slowing down, tacking on another 21 points in the half to make up the final.
"It's nice to be 1-0 in conference and it's nice to get that first win," Pixley said. "The guys are excited. They worked hard and my hats off to a spirited Charleston club. There's many times in the ball game they could have laid down and quit and they kept playing up until the last whistle."
Though they scored once through the air, it was the Eagles' rushing game that was their bread and butter Friday night. Of NMCC's 436 total yards of offense, 355 came on the ground along with five touchdowns in the process.
Nelson credits the team's running success to allowing the team to go to the air when they needed to.
"Blocking got better from the line this week and when we get the running game going, the passing game follows," he said.
Like most weeks, Stevenson was at the heart of most of NMCC's scoring opportunities against the Bluejays. Besides rushing for 84 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, Stevenson was 5-for-9 in the passing game, throwing for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Scoring NMCC's lone special team's touchdown, Stevenson also recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, which at the time with a successful two-point conversion, put the Eagles up 36-6.
As for Charleston, quarterback Jamaul Gray led both the rushing and passing attacks. Going 6-for-9 through the air for one touchdown and a pick, Gray nearly broke the 100-yard mark on the ground, rushing for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
The loss puts the Bluejays at 0-4 on the season, still looking for their breakthrough win under new coach Brett Blackman.
While their record might look a little disappointing, Blackman said he's seen improvements each week since he took over.
"I think the kids felt pretty good with our offensive game plan tonight and it's slowly sinking in," he said. "We do a lot of things and sometimes it swarms on them because they're wanting to do well. I think if you look at the kids in blue and white they showed a lot of heart tonight and they are getting better."
|NMCC||6 0 8 6 - 20|
|Charleston||6 22 21 0 - 49|
C -- Jamaul Grey 49 run (Ethan Browning kick blocked), 9:52
N -- G'Darius Stevenson 1 run (2-point run no good), 4:01
N -- LeMonte Nelson 60 run (two-point run no good), 11:34
N -- Jamareia Jones 11 pass from Stevenson (2-point run by Stevenson good), 7:42
N -- Stevenson 16 run (2-point run by Jones good), 3:53
N -- Stevenson blocked punt recovered in end zone (2-point Nelson run good), 8:00
C -- Gray 3 run (2-point run by Gray good), 3:12
N -- Jones 9 run (2-point Stevenson pass incomplete), 2:20
N -- Stevenson 53 run (Jones kick good), 0:00
C -- Jerry Carter 18 pass from Gray (Browning kick no good)
NMCC -- G'Darius Stevenson 15-84, LeMonte Nelson 3-94, Jamareia Jones 10-84, Xavier McFerren 1-34, Zach Rucker 1-(-4), Arlandre Newson 5-62, Jayshawn McDaniel 2-8, Damien Glispie 2-0, Chad Moton 1-(-5), Georgio Robinson 1-(-2). Charleston -- Jamaul Grey 18-99, Krushon Scott 4-4, Maurice Moore 6-21, Claude Armstrong 5-10, Robert Bogan 1-(-1), Kamari Allmon 1-1, Mike Kellum 1-(-11).
NMCC -- G'Darius Stevenson 5-9-0 81. Charleston -- Jamaul Gray 6-9-1 104
NMCC -- LeMonte Nelson 2-52, Zach Rucker 1-4, Jamareia Jones 1-11, Xavier McFerren 1-14. Charleston -- Maurice Moore 2-10, Sumner Foster 1-37, Krushon Scott 2-39, Jerry Carter 1-18.