GREENSBORO, NC—Redshirt senior Marquell Cartwright rushed for a game-high 18 carries for 157-yards to lead No. 13 North Carolina A&T State to a 31-16 victory over visiting South Carolina State Thursday (Sept. 27th) at the BB&T Stadium.
“This was another disappointing loss for us,” said head coach Buddy Pough. “Somehow we have to find a way to turn things around and get back on track. I want to take my hat off to N.C. A&T they played hard despite being down early and wanted it more in the end.”
The Bulldogs jumped on the board on a 7-yard run by freshman running back Farrika Grier with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter The Aggies responded on a 31-yard field goal by Noel Ruiz with 0:16 seconds left to close out the quarter 7-3.
A costly fumble in the end zone by N.C. A&T led to touchdown by senior Jermaine Baxely at the 10:23 mark in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 13-3 lead. The PAT was good by freshman kicker Dillion Bredesen.
Bredesen kicked his first field goal of the season connecting on a 27-yarder with 5:56 remaining in the half to push the Bulldogs ahead 16-3. Redshirt sophomore Jah-Maine Martin closed out the first-half with a 40-yard scamper to pull the Aggies within a score 16-10 during intermission.
The second-half the Aggies totally dominated scoring 15-point unanswered points off a 9-yard toss by senior quarterback Lamar Raynard at the 11:17 mark in the third quarter. Raynard found the end zone again on a 7-yard strike to Ron Hunt to open the fourth quarter to give the Aggies a 24-16 lead.
Raynard closed out the final scoring drive of the night with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Malik Wilson to seal the 31-16 victory.
The Bulldogs were led by senior punter Jerome Pettiway with another solid on special teams with (8) punts for 371 yards (46.4 yp) with the longest being 57-yards, along with four (4) points inside the 20-yard line and one touchback.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrece Nick finished with 20 carries for 89-yards, while senior defensive back Kendric Gathers led the charge on defense with a game-high 8 tackles (6) solo and freshman Decobie Durant seven (7) tackles in the loss.
N.C. A&T improves to 4-1 overall, 1-0 in the MEAC, while South Carolina State remain winless at 0-4 overall, 0-1 in the league.
The is the first time during the Pough era that South Carolina State has ever started the season 0-4, the last time the Bulldogs were 0-4 was during the 1970 season.