Second half rally creates homecoming victoryBy Semaj Marsh
Published: November 1, 2012
A&T coach Rod Broadway hinted earlier in the week that some personnel changes could be expected in the Aggies’ Homecoming showdown against Norfolk State if his offense continued to struggle, and he proved to be a man of his word.
Freshman quarterback Kwashuan Quick took in the second half for a turnover-prone Lewis Kindle and Ricky Lewis became the team’s featured running back, helping the Aggies snap out of an early offensive funk and pull away from the Spartans, 30-9, to claim their second straight Homecoming win.
Quick, who was named the starter in the Aggies’ season-opening loss to Coastal Carolina when Kindle served a one-game suspension but had since seen only limited action in mop-up duty, finally heard his number called last Saturday after Kindle threw three costly interceptions. With A&T trailing 9-7, Quick came out of the locker room and immediately led A&T on a nine play, 75-yard scoring drive, punctuated by his own 29 yard touchdown run off a read option play.
That score gave his team their first lead of the game at 14-9, and managed to ignite both the A&T sideline and the near-capacity crowd of 20,256 inside Aggie Stadium. Later in the third quarter A&T would extend its lead when senior running back Ricky Lewis took a hand off from Quick and ran through the Spartans defense untouched for a 19-yard touchdown, making the score 20-9. Lewis, a graduate of nearby Dudley High School, would finish the afternoon with a game-high 81 rushing yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.
Freshman kicker Zach Cimaglia would add a 39-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and Mike Mayhew would rush for a four-yard touchdown in the game’s final seconds to complete the scoring.
Afterwards, Broadway said the second half personnel moves, especially at quarterback, where not easy decisions to make but he believed they were what ultimately led to the Aggie’s victory.
“Mr. Quick made some plays for us running the ball and he helped change the tempo of the game,” said the second-year A&T coach who remained undefeated in Homecoming games after trouncing Delaware State 42-24 last year. “He really showed us something out there. He had the opportunity to keep drives alive and he made some plays for us out there today. I think that was the difference.”
Quick totaled 68 yards on the ground and 37 more in the air on 3-of-7 passing, but he didn’t commit any turnovers and seemed to inspire his teammates in the huddle.
Afterwards, Broadway would not say if the change at quarterback would be permanent but reiterated that there was open competition for every position on the team and whoever had the best week in practice this week would get the nod against Florida A&M on Saturday.
“(Players) go through a stretch sometimes when they don’t play their best and when you are in a slump and you turn the ball over like that we had to give Quick a chance to play,” said Broadway. “And looking back now, it was a good decision because he responded and played well.”
One thing that didn’t need much changing for the Aggies was their defensive unit which has been stingy all season and two fumbles and four interceptions against Norfolk State. Overall, A&T held the Spartans to just five first downs and 160 yards total offense.
Junior cornerback D’vonte Graham again made his presence felt with his fourth interception of the year and an improbable 103-yard touchdown return off a missed 47-yard field goal that gave the Aggies their first score of the game right before halftime.
“That was a big play,” Broadway said. “That got us going. We had the right guy back there at the right time.”