TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Rod Broadway believes he may have finally figured out this enigma that has fallen upon his North Carolina A&T football.
For third time in as many weeks, the Aggies had a chance to win on the final possession of the game, and failed to do so. Instead, Florida A&M came from 13 points behind thanks to the foot of placekicker Trevor Scott, who connected on four field goals, to lead the Rattlers to a 26-20 win Saturday night at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
Why so many down-to-the-wire games?
"All three weeks, we just didn't score enough points to win," said N.C. A&T head coach Rod Broadway. "We have to figure out how to put more points on the board. Our problem today was we just stopped scoring."
N.C. A&T had no problems scoring early. Behind two touchdowns from junior running back Mike Mayhew, the Aggies jumped out to a 13-0 lead. After giving up a 66-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Elliott, the Aggies continued to move the ball.
Backup running back Dominique Drake rushed four times for 27 yards on a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended with him scoring on a 9-yard run to give the Aggies a 20-7 lead with 11:01 remaining in the first half. Despite compiling 428 yards of offense, the Aggies went the next 40-plus minutes without points. It didn't help that the MEAC's leading rusher Mayhew didn't play in the second half.
"I don't think Mike leaving should have made that huge of difference," said Broadway. "If one guy goes out, we have to be able to keep things going.
"If you look at the final 30-40 minutes of the game, we moved the ball," Broadway continued. "We were 4-for-14 on third down, and we had another field goal blocked. In this league you have to score points, and right now we can't get the simplest things done to score points."
Seventeen penalties for 168 yards didn't assist the Aggies offense. Scott, a senior out Jacksonville, Fla., gave the Rattlers their first lead of the game on a 40-yard field goal with 11:05 remaining in the third quarter.
N.C. A&T still had a chance to tie the game, but for the second consecutive week, Jose Garcia-Camacho had a field goal blocked. This time it was a 43-yard attempt to open the fourth quarter. Scott gave FAMU a six-point edge after a 12-play, 72-yard drive ended with a 33-yard field goal.
On their final drive of the game, the Aggies drove the ball to the FAMU 34-yard line. But a false start penalty and a sack put the Aggies in a 4th-and-16 situation. Quarterback Lewis Kindle made one final heave to the end zone toward receiver Ricky Lewis, but the ball was tipped around twice before John Williams intercepted the pass.
The loss drops the Aggies to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the MEAC. Senior Wallace Miles led the Aggies with 12 catches for 159 yards. He is 87 yards shy of breaking the Aggies single-season record for receiving yards. He is 181 yards shy of becoming the first Aggie receiver in school history to have a 1,000-yard season.
Kindle was 19-for-36 for 246 yards and two interceptions. Aggies linebackers D'Vonte Grant and Tallahassee native Brandon Hover finished with a team-high eight tackles.
The Aggies are on the road again next week when they face S.C. State at 1:30 p.m.