Senior running back Tarik Cohen topped the 200-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive game North Carolina A&T pulled away in the fourth quarter for a come from behind MEAC 52-35 road victory against Bethune-Cookman.
Cohen, the MEAC’s career rushing leader, ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries as North Carolina A&T (5-1, 3-0 MEAC) remained unbeaten in the MEAC). The victory was the first for the Aggies on Bethune-Cookman’s home field in 13 years and ended a four-game losing streak against the Wildcats in Florida. Winless Bethune-Cookman (0-5, 0-3 MEAC) led 28-24 with 14:50 remaining in the game after quarterback Larry Brihm threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Frank Brown. The score gave the Wildcats their first fourth-quarter lead of the season.
However, they couldn’t protect it. The Aggies hit them with 21 unanswered points to turn what had been a seesaw offensive battle into a rout. North Carolina A&T got a big game from quarterback Lamar Raynard to complement Cohen’s virtuoso rushing performance. Raynard completed 20 of 31 passes for a career-high 277 yards and three touchdowns. He completed passes to eight different receivers, including a 55-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Khris Gardin. The Aggies ended the game with 561 yards total offense.
“We’ve got a lot of weapons we can use a lot of times that will make things a lot easier for Tarik,” said North Carolina A&T coach Rod Broadway. “We’ve got a good tight end (Leroy Hill), a couple of receivers with great hands and guys with some speed out there. We spread the ball around today like I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
Bethune-Cookman stayed close to the Aggies for three and half quarters on the strength of Brihm’s passing. He threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns. Jawill Davis caught nine passes for 143 yards and Brown had five receptions for 117 yards. However, the Wildcats were unable to move the ball on the ground, gaining a paltry eight yards on 17 attempts.
Southern 28, Jackson State 24 – The Jaguars continued their mastery of the Tigers with a SWAC road victory. The win was the fourth in a row for Southern (3-2, 3-0 SWAC) against Jackson State and keeps the Jaguars tied with Grambling State with the SWAC West Division lead. Jackson State managed to keep Southern’s high scoring offense well below its points per game average, a SWAC-best 38.6, even though the Jaguars gained 429 total yards. Running back Lenard Tillery, who entered the game averaging 125.8 yards rushing a game, best in the conference, ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns, Quarterback Austin Howard threw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
But the Jaguars were unable to connect on any big plays and Jackson managed to stay in the game despite being out gained 429-280. Southern scored the winning points on Howard’s touchdown pass to with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game. Jackson State (2-4, 2-2 SWAC) had taken a 24-21 lead on running back Joshua Bates’ two-yard touchdown run at 8:59 of the third quarter. Southern led 14-3 in the early going, but Jackson State fought back to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 21-17 at the half. The victory was Southern’s fourth in a row against Jackson State. The Tigers hurt themselves with 14 penalties for 125 yards,
Tennessee State 35, Eastern Kentucky 28 – The Tigers grabbed a 32-point halftime lead then held onto win their Homecoming. Quarterback Ronald Butler rushed for a pair of touchdowns and running backs Andre Knox and Sabree Curtis scored once each as the Big Blue (5-1, 2-1 OVC) seemed to be headed for a lopsided victory. Tennessee State’s other touchdown came on Ezra Robinson’s 93-yard interception return, which tied the second longest in school history.
Eastern Kentucky (2-4, 1-2 OVC) rallied in the second half, but Tennessee State turned the Colonels away when linebacker Chris Collins came up with an interception with eight seconds left to play. Eastern Kentucky dominated the game statistically with 584 yards total offense to 381 for Tennessee State. However, five turnovers were the Colonels’ undoing. Quarterback Bennie Coney passed for 350 yards while completing 29 of 45 throws. However, he also threw four interceptions.
Bowie State 38, Virginia State 37 – Quarterback Amir Hall passed for 332 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs a Homecoming victory. Hall completed 25 of 36 passes as the Bulldogs (5-2, 4-0 CIAA, 2-0 North) took over first place in the CIAA North Division. Nyme Manns was on the receiving end of eight of Hall’s completions, good for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Hall scored the winning touchdown on a two-yard run with 9:46 left in the game. Virginia State (5-2, 2-2 CIAA, 1-1 North) led 37-20 midway through the third quarter following Tarian Ayres 30-yard touchdown pass to Trenton Cannon. But Hall rallied the Bulldogs. He threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Deron Smith to cap a nine-play 86-yard scoring drive and marched the Bulldogs 41-yards in three plays, culminating with Robert Chesson’s 24-yard touchdown run, before scoring the winning points.
Kentucky State 28, Miles 24 —The Thorobreds made their case for why they should be considered a contender in the SIAC West Division championship race with a Homecoming win against the defending conference champion and 2015 preseason division favorite Bears. The Thorobreds win came in dramatic fashion. Defensive lineman Nick Beckhum recovered a fumble in the end zone for touchdown with 2:10 remaining in the game as Miles was attempting to run out the clock while protecting a 24-21 lead. The victory ended a six-game losing streak for Kentucky State (3-4, 4-1 SIAC, 2-0 West) against Miles (3—3, 3-2 SIAC, 1-1 West).
The Thorobreds can take control of the division race with a victory against unbeaten Tuskegee (6-0, 4-0 SIAC, 1-0 West) when they face the Golden Tigers Saturday on their Homecoming. Kentucky State found itself in an early 10-0 hole against Miles going into the second quarter. Quarterback Jules St. Ge got the Thorobreds started on the comeback trail with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Charles Johnson with 31 remaining in the first half.
Reginald Harris’ 13-yard touchdown run on Kentucky State’s first possession of the third quarter gave the Thorobreds a 14-10 advantage. However, Miles responded with a pair of touchdowns and led 24-14 going into the fourth quarter. Darmontre Warr got the Thorobreds within striking distance of the lead with a touchdown run at the 13:30 mark of the final period.
Florida A&M 41, Delaware State 27
Hampton 21, Morgan State 12
North Carolina Central 33, Savannah State 3
South Carolina State 14, Howard 9
Alabama A&M 40, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7
Alabama State 56, Mississippi Valley State 24
Alcorn State 23, Texas Southern 20
Chowan 54, Virginia Union 21
Elizabeth City State 37, Lincoln (Pa.) 27
Fayetteville State 33, Johnson C. Smith 2123
Winston-Salem State 45, Saint Augustine’s 10
Albany State 26, Morehouse 21
Central State 27, Lane 10
Clark Atlanta 27, Benedict 14
Florida Tech 48, Fort Valley State 14
Arizona Christian 57, Texas College 7
Edward Waters 45, University of Faith 6
Langston 33, Bacone 32
Livingstone 23, Shaw 12
Missouri S&T 65, Lincoln (Mo.) 16
Shepherd 70, West Virginia State 24
Shippensburg 76, Cheyney 0