HAMPTON – Don’t tell North Carolina A&T head football coach Alonzo Lee two out of three ain’t bad.*****(Defensively for Hampton U, Brandon Peguese(Grimsley HS) had 2 solo tackles/4 assists for 6 Total Tackles…..3 Tackles for a loss for 7 yards lost, 0.5 sacks for 3 yards and 1 Quarterback Hurry……)*****
Over the Aggies first two games, they played reasonably well on defense and special teams, while the third phase of the game – offense – struggled to score points. On Saturday, the offense had its best scoring output of the season. The Aggies also returned another kick for a touchdown.
But midway through the third quarter, the Aggies defense took an inexplicable turn for the worst as Hampton compiled 343 yards of total offense over its final five drives of the game to pull away from the Aggies in a 35-21 win at Armstrong Stadium.
Junior running back Mike Mayhew led the Aggies with 112 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Justin Ferrell returned his second kickoff of the season for a touchdown, and it was the Aggies third kickoff for a touchdown in as many games, snapping a school record.
Pirates running back Antwon Chisolm finished with 114 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, while Hampton quarterback David Legree threw for 206 yards and four touchdowns on 17-for-25 passing.
“It’s difficult to see your defense struggle like that,” said Lee. “But they had more energy than we did in the second half. We were in place quite a few times, but had missed tackles. They simply came out with more energy when it counted.”
The Pirates seemed to harness this energy during a time when it seemed the Aggies were consuming it all. Two minutes into the second half, Mayhew busted through the left side of the Aggies offensive line for his longest run of the season, a 41-yard pickup that gave N.C. A&T the ball at the Hampton 6-yard line. On the next play, Mayhew scored to give the Aggies a 14-7 advantage.
N.C. A&T’s momentum continued as Jermarion Pegues stopped Reginald Dixon for just a 16-yard return on the kickoff. Even on the Pirates 1st-and-10 play, the Aggies appeared to have Hampton’s Isiah Thomas stopped in the backfield for a loss on a botched halfback pass play. But Thomas planted, reversed field and slipped past an Aggie tackler for a 34-yard run.
Hampton’s offense took off from there. Gains of 16, 19 and 9 set up a 21-yard touchdown pass from David Legree to Javaris Brown as the Pirates took a 21-14 lead. On the Pirates next drive, Thomas scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass to put the Aggies behind by two touchdowns.
“I think once we scored to open the second half, we started celebrating what the score was,” said Lee. “Instead of our defense coming out and getting a three-and-out like they were supposed to, they were still celebrating the score. I thought we lost focus, and they picked up the pace.”