N.C. A&T controls both sides of the ball in 3rd win

Charlee Major, TheYARD Editor

The N.C. A&T Aggies returned to Truist Stadium well-rested after the bye-week, blowing out Edward Waters University 45-7.

This is the highest-scoring game for N.C. A&T’s offense, and the lowest number of points the defense has allowed this season.

Graduate student Jalen Fowler was the starter at quarterback, as the team continues to figure out who will permanently be under center. Fowler played a decent game, throwing for 243 total yards and no interceptions. He also recorded two fumbles, both recovered by EWU.

This game was mainly won on the ground for the Aggies, with sophomore running back Brayshul Tuten leading the way with 103 rushing yards. This is Tuten’s 5th straight game with over 100 rushing yards, breaking running back Tarik Cohen’s record.

“He [Tuten] practices like a champion,” said Head Coach Sam Washington in the post-game press conference. “The sky’s the limit for that young man.”

This was N.C. A&T’s first time competing against EWU, and with this victory, N.C. A&T is now on a three-game win streak, making them 3-3, 1-0 (Big South).

The Aggies came out swinging on their first drive. A 42-yard throw to sophomore wide receiver Sterling Berkhalter set them up at the EWU 21-yard line. Shortly after, Tuten punched it in the endzone with a run down the middle.

The offense found success going no-huddle, almost always with Fowler in the shotgun.

“I like the no-huddle because I like to go fast,” Fowler said. “It makes the decisions easier and simplifies the reads. It’s harder for the defense to know what we’re going to do.”

Special teams also made an impact. A blocked punt by junior linebacker Jacob Roberts late in the first quarter put the team in great field position, setting up Tuten to score his second touchdown. 

This was a statement game for N.C. A&T’s defense. The first play of the second quarter, EWU quarterback Jyron Russell was intercepted by senior linebacker Malich Jacobs. This turnover led to a 5-yard touchdown pass from Fowler to sophomore tight end Nick Dobson.

The Aggies rush defense also proved why they are number one in the Big South, only allowing EWU to 55 rushing yards.

The return of defensive end Jermaine McDaniel was felt, recording four sacks, six tackles, and a forced fumble.

“I don’t really think about the sacks I got, I think about the sacks I missed,” McDaniel said. 

The Aggies lead extended in the third quarter after a 15-yard touchdown by redshirt freshman running back Wesley Graves, making it 38-0. 

Graduate student Devin Harrell left the game with what looked to be a serious neck injury, leaving the game on a stretcher. Coach Washington said there are not any updates as of right now.

“He went in on his own power and he was alert,” Washing said. “I do feel comfortable that it’s nothing major. 

The game resumed, and the Tigers finally were able to get on the board late in the fourth quarter, but N.C. A&T’s ability to dominate in all three phases would allow them to go ahead and win the game.