Aggie Football Season Ends in First Round Against Richmond
Despite missing out on the Celebration Bowl this season, the Aggies came into Saturday’s playoff action against number 12 in the country Richmond looking to keep the season alive. The Spiders had other ideas and whooped North Carolina A&T 39-10 by the time it was all said and done.
Richmond and N.C. A&T both entered the game with less than healthy players at the quarterback position, and it made a big difference over the course of the game.
The Aggies struggled mightily during the game creating offense through the air, and FCS Player of the Year candidate Tarik Cohen didn’t add much of a threat during the contest adding 70 yards on 13 carries in his final game in the Aggie blue and gold. Cohen finished the season with 1588 yards, breaking his own N.C. A&T rushing record set last season.
It was Oluwafemi Bamiro who was given the start on Saturday, the last of his career after five seasons in Aggie-land. Bamiro found senior wide receiver Denzel Keyes for a touchdown, but otherwise struggled to find his playmakers. Bamiro finished his collegiate career completing 13 of 28 passes for 87 yards while he also was picked off twice.
The Aggies clicked early on, stopping the Spiders in Aggie territory on fourth and one, then immediately drove down the field for the Bamiro/Keyes connection for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. However, it was quarterback Kevin Johnson and the Spiders that would take it from there.
In his first career start, Johnson was able to complete 15-23 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown, Johnson also did not turn the football over against a ball-hawking Aggie defense. Johnson also rushed for a score on the ground, and added 22 yards with his legs.
The Richmond defense smothered the Aggies and Cohen all afternoon, allowing just 226 total yards of offense, by far the lowest total of the season for North Carolina A&T.
Despite the tough loss, the Aggies end what was an excellent season of football for a program on the up and up. Running back Tarik Cohen is a national award candidate, and offensive lineman Brandon Parker won the MEAC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year award. Despite a tough end, things clicked very well for Head Coach Rod Broadway this season.
In 2017, the Aggies will return their two sophomore quarterbacks Kylil Carter and Lamar Raynard, who missed the first round of the playoffs with injury. The Aggies will also return four starters on the offensive line, senior wide receiver Denzel Keyes, and of course, star running back Tarik Cohen. N.C. A&T will also only lose two starters on defense, shaping up for the Aggies to continue their wave of success in the upcoming seasons.
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.