Dover, Del. (Oct. 6, 2018) --- Quarterback Lamar Raynard passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two to lead North Carolina A&T to a 34-6 MEAC victory over Delaware State in the Hornets’ 2018 home opener Saturday evening.
The defending conference champion Aggies won their second in a row to improve to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the MEAC. The Hornets are winless in five games, including two MEAC contests.
Raynard, the reigning MEAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, completed 14-of-23 passes for 171 yards in the contest. He threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Malik Wilson in the first quarter and 54 yards Wilson in the second quarter. Raynard connected with Zachary Leslie on a four-yard scoring pass to close out the scoring in the third quarter.
Delaware State quarterback Keenan Black (jr.), starting his third straight game, completed 10-of-22 passes for 108 yards. He also led the Hornets with 51 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
Redshirt freshman placekicker Jose Romo-Martinez accounted for DSU’s scoring with a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter and a career-best 49-yarder in the second quarter.
The Hornets scored first in the contest when Romo-Martinez capped off a nine-play, 66-yard drive with a 38-yard field goal at the 2:31 mark of the first quarter. The key play in the drive was a 35-yard run by Mike Waters to the North Carolina A&T 41-yard line.
The Aggies needed just five plays to answer the Delaware State score. Raynard’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Wilson highlighted the 65-yard scoring drive. The extra-point kick by Noel Ruiz gave the visitors a 7-3 lead with 47 seconds left in the first quarter.
Lamar’s first touchdown run of the game, a 10-yard scamper with 11:49 left in the second quarter gave the Aggies a 13-3 lead. The extra point kick was blocked by the Hornets.
Delaware State trailed 20-3 when Black connected with Trey Gross on a 36-yard pass to the Aggie 31. After the Hornets lost a yard in the next three plays, Romo-Martinez nailed his 49-yard field goal to cut North Carolina A&T’s lead to 20-6 with 3:07 to go before halftime. The kick is tied for the third longest field goal in DSU history. The school record is 54 by Jared Keating vs. Norfolk State in 2003.
DSU had one more first half possession, but Romo-Martinez came up just short on a 50-yard field goal attempt when the ball hit the cross bar on the final play of the second quarter.
The Aggies scored two third quarter touchdowns, including Raynard’s second score on a five-yard run, to put the game away.
North Carolina A&T outgained Delaware State 356-248. The well-balanced Aggies rushed for 182 yards and passed for 174. The Hornets gained 140 yards on the ground and 108 by the pass.
DSU was also plagued by 13 penalties for 100 yards, while the Aggies were flagged just five times for 40 yards.
The game was the first at Alumni Stadium since a replay system was installed … three plays were reviewed, including two that were ruled as lost fumbles by the Hornets but later overturned … the game was also the first at Alumni stadium since a new artificial turf was installed … the Hornets recorded their first sack of the season when Moses DuPre (jr.) and David Bowman (fr.) took down Raynard in the backfield on a pass attempt in the second quarter … DSU will play its next two games on the road, beginning with a visit to Howard next Saturday (Oct. 13) … the Hornets will also travel to South Carolina State on Oct. 20 before returning home to face North Carolina Central in the annual homecoming contest on Oct. 27