Turnovers Prove Costly In Howard Loss
Greensboro, NC— October 23 — Howard turned the ball over five times and North Carolina A&T took advantage of the gifts en route to a 52-32 win in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Aggie Stadium. It was the first win of the season for the Aggies (1-7 overall, 1-4 in the MEAC).
North Carolina A&T scored on its first possession, taking only three plays to go 74 yards. George Hines connected with Wallace Miles from 26 yards to get the Aggies on the board just 1:25 into the game.
Howard committed the first of its turnovers on its initial possession and NC A&T cashed in when Jeremy Graham returned a fumble 38 yards to make it 14-0 less than two minutes later.
The Bison (1-6 overall, 0-4 in the MEAC) re-grouped and quickly got back into the game when freshman quarterback Randy Liggins, Jr. hooked up with Brandon Drayton on a 56-yard catch and run. Parker Munoz missed the first PAT of the season and Howard trailed 14-6 at the 11:48 mark.
The Bison got on the board again three minutes later when Liggins threw his second TD pass of the day, this time from 31 yards out to Daley Gunter. Liggins finished 8 of 20 for a career-high 181 yards and two TDs and two interceptions.
But NC A&T regained control when it turned two Howard miscues into 14 points during a four-minute span early in the second quarter. Howard was able to answer with a 13-yard TD run by Charles Brice to make the score, 28-19. The Aggies would all but put the game away with back-to-back TD runs by Mike Mathew as NC A&T took a comfortable 42-19 lead to the locker room.
Despite the loss, there were some individual bright spots. Brice continues to establish himself as the prime back in this offense. He rushed for 81 yards and two TDs on 15 carries while also grabbing two passes for 30 yards.
Liggins, in just his second start, accounted for 220 yards of total offense.
Defensively, linebackers Kurt Mangum, II and Keith Pough both had outstanding performances. Mangum had a career-best 17 tackles, including 3.5 for losses while Pough had what is becoming routine for him. The red-shirt sophomore from Orangeburg, SC, collected 12 tackles, 3.5 for losses, 2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.
Sackie Kerkulah collected 6 tackles and 2 sacks.
NEXT UP: The Bison will host Norfolk State for homecoming on Saturday at 1 pm in Greene Stadium while the Aggies travel to Daytona Beach, FL to take on undefeated Bethune-Cookman in a Thursday night game on ESPNU at 7:30.