Freshman Elijah Bell Stars on Senior Day as Aggies Roll Again, Delaware State Next
from Matt Johnson, covering College Football for GreensboroSports.com
10th ranked North Carolina A&T (8-1, 6-0 MEAC) came into senior day looking to add another win to their streak, and did so, but not without a little scare in the form of the South Carolina State Bulldogs (3-5, 3-2 MEAC). Despite the senior day title, it was freshman wide receiver Elijah Bell who stole the show, and added to his stellar rookie campaign adding two touchdowns, including the game winner for the Aggies to give them the edge 30-20 in the fourth quarter, the game’s last score.
Bell would finish the day with three receptions, 47 yards and the two touchdowns. His efforts on Saturday earned him the honor of being named the MEAC’s Rookie of the Week.
South Carolina State quarterback Caleb York would not let his Bulldogs go down without a fight. With three losses to FBS teams and only one conference loss this year, SCSU let York air it out at the end of the first half, ending on a touchdown and with the momentum going into half time. The Aggies however, were able to complete their second fourth quarter comeback of the season, thanks to the hands of Bell and the steady play of quarterback Lamar Raynard.
Raynard stepped up when he was needed, as FCS Player of the Year candidate Tarik Cohen had a rough day at the office going for just an uncharacteristic 47 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Raynard however managed the game very well, completing 18-30 passes for 169 yards and threw two scores, including Bell’s second score to steal the lead.
The win keeps A&T with a first-place tie in the MEAC, sharing first place with North Carolina Central University, who are both 6-0 in the conference. Before a showdown with NCCU on November 19, this Saturday the Aggies travel to Dover to face Delaware State.
North Carolina A&T will likely go back to pressing the ground game with running back Tarik Cohen, despite his low totals against SCSU. Cohen has been the Aggies’ MVP all season, and has more rushing yards (1168) than SCSU as a team (960). Cohen has also scored more combined touchdowns (14 rushing 1 receiving) than the Hornets have as an offensive unit (13).
The A&T pass defense has been a point of emphasis all season for Head Coach Rod Broadway. Despite some big passes that put SCSU in scoring position last Saturday, A&T only gave up 218 yards through the air. The Aggie defense has an opportunity to shine, as the Hornets do not throw the ball well when they do throw, averaging 138 yards per game and only six touchdowns on the season.
North Carolina A&T and the Delaware State Hornets will face off in Dover, Delaware as the Aggies hit the road for the final two weeks of the regular season. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff.
Matt Johnson is a broadcaster for Averett University Football and the Averett Sports Network. To view one of his broadcasts, go to www.averettcougars.com on Saturdays during Averett University home games for live coverage of Averett football or search for Averett athletics on YouTube for a previous broadcast.