South Carolina State knocked North Carolina A&T from the unbeaten ranks Saturday with a 29-24 MEAC victory in the Atlanta Football Classic.
The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-0) used an efficient offense to hand the Aggies (3-1, 1-1) their first loss. Quarterback Richard Cue, voted his team’s MVP, threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns while completing 17 of the 28 passes that he attempted.
“I thought we played hard the entire game. We didn’t do some of the best things at times but there was no lack of effort,’’ South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough said. ”We knew they were good against the run, so we knew we had to throw the ball to have a chance at winning the game.’’
North Carolina A&T held South Carolina State to 86 yards on the ground.
South Carolina State went ahead 7-3 early in the second quarter on Dondre Freeman-Lewis’ two-yard run. The teams then swapped touchdowns and South Carolina State took a 14-10 lead into the third period. Dominique Drake scored on 14-yard run for the Aggies and Cue tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Davis with 48 second left in the second period.
The Aggies recaptured the lead, 17-14, midway through the third period when Ricky Lewis scored on a 13-yard run. South Carolina State used its special teams go ahead for good later in the period. First Darius Drummond tackled North Carolina A&T blocked punter Dominic Frescura’s kick following a high snap and the ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety. The Bulldogs took the ensuing free kick and drove Nick Belcher booted a 49-yard field goal.
Cue hooked up with Tyler McDaniel on a 65-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that increased South Carolina State’s lead to 26-17 and put the game out of reach. Belcher added a 22-yard field goal for the Bulldogs’ final points.
North Carolina A&T threatened to make a game of it again, driving 76-yards in 10 plays and scoring on quarterback Lewis Kindle’s 25-yard pass to Desmond Lewis. The Aggies got the ball back with 1:32 left in the game. But South Carolina State sacked Kindle, and he threw three incomplete passes to end the threat.