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Team Gaither defeats Team Robinson 10-6 in third annual HBCU Legacy Bowl

Quarterback Davius Richard named offensive MVP despite suffering right leg injury

Game action photos from the 2024 HBCU Legacy Bowl at Tulane's Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.
Game action photos from the 2024 HBCU Legacy Bowl at Tulane's Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

Team Gaither emerged victorious from the third annual All State HBCU Legacy Bowl at Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 24, coming away with a 10-6 victory over Team Robinson in the all-star game.

The game got off to a fast start as quarterback Davius Richard out of North Carolina Central University marched his team down the field on a five-play, 76-yard touchdown drive completing both of his passing attempts for 52 yards before rushing four yards for the touchdown.

Unfortunately, the touchdown was a somber one as Richard suffered a significant right leg injury as he was tackled. He was placed in an air cast and carted off the field, though he did wave to the audience and received a round of applause as he went out.

Despite the abbreviated performance, Richard would go on to be named offensive MVP for the dynamic but brief showcase he put on.

Team Gaither followed up the touchdown drive with a stop on defense, before putting together another long drive of 17 plays and 64 yards, before stalling and kicking a 29-yard field goal, giving them a 10-0 lead.

From there the game became a war of field position as Team Gaither and Team Robinson failed to put together sustained drives

Team Gaither held that 10-0 lead until the fourth quarter when Team Robinson struck on a deep pass over the middle. Team Robinson wide receiver Lydon Rash out of Grambling University caught the pass from quarterback Jeremy Moussa out of Florida A&M at approximately the 17-yard line. He was not touched down by defenders and got up and found his way to the end zone for the 28-yard score.

Rash said it was not specifically gone over by the coaches to get up and run if you are not touched down like the NFL rules the game was played under allow.

"It just kind of clicked," Rash said. "All week we had scouts at practice, you know you got two feet in-bounds and stuff like that, so it just kind of registered, hey they don't touch you get up and run."

The Baton Rouge native said he was just "thankful for it all" and had friends and family to have the opportunity to come out and see him play.

One of those friends who came out to see him was Saints defensive tackle Malcolm Roach, who said Rash was like a "little brother" to him with the two playing together for Madison Prep High School.

"To see him get to this point in his career, following some of the footsteps, some of the things I did is always good to see," Roach said.

After a missed extra-point attempt after Rash's touchdown the Team Gaither lead was narrowed to 10-6.

Team Gaither had a chance to strengthen its lead with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, but after penalties pushed them back, they settled for a 45-yard field-goal attempt that was missed. Team Robinson could not take advantage, turning the ball over on downs on the next drive after a fourth-and-four at the 41 with 1:21 left, sealing the win for Team Gaither.

At halftime, the Sonic Boom of the South, the marching band for Jackson State, performed. They also provided music from the stands throughout the game. Following their halftime performance, there was a presentation of the 2023 Black College Football Hall of Fame Class with several members in attendance.

A number of Saints players and alumni were in attendance including Roach, wide receiver Chris Olave, quarterback Jameis Winston, and Saints legends Devery Henderson, Tyrone Hughes and JJ McClesky.

ZaReon Hayes, a defensive lineman for Team Robinson out of Alabama A&M, was named defensive MVP after recording four sacks. He said he could not believe the opportunity calling it a "dream that came true for me."

"Just work ethic for real," Hayes said about his sacks. "I just put in the work and it just came out on the field."

Roach said his dad coached at HBCUs all his life and thinks this bowl game is an important event.

"I think it's big to give these people who play lower division ball a chance to showcase their talents because at the end of the day they are playing football the same way we are," Roach said.

The Saint said it is good for the HBCU players to get a national spotlight like players at the Reese's Senior Bowl, NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the East-West Shrine Bowl get.

"You never know," Roach said. "It could just take one play from a scout seeing you and it could change your life."

Game action photos from the 2024 HBCU Legacy Bowl at Tulane's Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

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