The North Carolina A&T Aggies (3-2, 1-2) looks to end its two-game losing streak against the Delaware State Hornets (2-4, 2-1) on Saturday at Aggie Stadium. The skid includes losses to the South Carolina State Bulldogs (29-24) and the Hampton Pirates (31-26).
Freshman running back Tarik Cohen had a quality performance against Hampton, accounting for nearly 300 yards offensively.
Late in the third quarter, he registered his second and final touchdown on a shovel pass from Lewis Kindle, which he took for 81 yards for the score. He finished with 180 rushing yards, 119 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns.
A&T head Coach Rod Broadway said, “He is a freshman player with a lot of ability, and we’ve got to start playing him. He is our best player. We’ve got to get him on the field, get the ball in his hand, and let him make plays for us.”
The offense failed to score on any of their three trips to the redzone. A&T was 0-for-2 on fourth down conversions and 6-for-18 on third down. The defense allowed three points in the second half after surrendering 21 in the first.
A&T linebacker Brian Houston had a fourth quarter interception return for a touchdown and 11 tackles.
In the last seconds of the game, an incomplete pass from Kindle, intended for Desmond Lawrence, on fourth down sealed Aggies fate.
Receivers Lawrence and Darren Bullock both finished with 4 catches for 34 yards. Kindle went 12-for- 29 with three interceptions and a touchdown.
The Aggies lost their last two games by five points.
Saturday’s win marks Hampton’s eighth straight victory over A&T.
Delaware State defeated Norfolk State 14-7 last week, posting 14 unanswered points in the second half after trailing 7-0 at halftime.
Second team All-MEAC defensive back Davon Moore sealed the DSU victory with an interception on Norfolk State’s final drive.
First team All-MEAC performers Ernest Adjei (16) and Colston Terrick (9) combined for 25 tackles as the Spartans rushed for 19 yards.
Through six games, the DSU defense has relied heavily on defensive backs Moore (50 tackles, interception), Terrick (50 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries), and linebacker Adjei (50 tackles, 2 sacks).
On offense, DSU running back Dae-Hon Cheung had a solid performance with 6 carries for 66 yards.
Quarterback Cory Murphy is responsible for 72 percent of the Hornets offensive yardage thus far. He finished 14-for-25 with three interceptions against NSU.
Through six games, the offense has ten touchdowns as the Hornets have been outscored 134-21 in the first half of games this season.
Receiver Malik Goldson has hauled in 28 passes for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns through six games this season. He had 7 receptions for 56 yards against NSU.
DSU is coached by second year head coach Kermit Blount (11-7). Blount also coached at Winston Salem State, where he led his alma mater to a record of 91-87-3.
Saturday’s game could have crucial conference championship hope implications, as a loss would bring A&T to 1-3 and DSU to 2-2 against MEAC opponents.
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Kalyn Hoyle, Managing Editor