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Aggies lose close road game at Hampton, face Towson on GHOE


Moral victories are not typically embraced in today’s college football, but when you’ve struggled as much as A&T coach Vincent Brown has during his debut season, you’ll welcome any signs of improvement you can get.

Yes, his young Aggies lost another conference game last weekend - their fourth in row – and again they were besieged by untimely turnovers and mental errors in a 26-24 loss to Hampton.

However, A&T (1-7 overall, 0-5 in the CAA) showed true grit on defense in the second half - including an inspired goal line stand and an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown when Hampton was looking to put the game out of reach. Also, the much-maligned A&T passing offense finally awoke from what felt like a season-long coma.

“There are no moral victories, we understand that but we had a chance,” said Brown on Monday during his weekly press conference. “And as we've talked about all season long, we’re laying the foundation for what we want to be the rest of this season and going forward.”

True freshman quarterback Kevin White Jr. bounced back from a disastrous two interception, 37-yard passing performance last week against Richmond, by completing 10-of-15 passes for a season-high 211 yards and two touchdowns against the Pirates.

It was the first time the Aggies have eclipsed the century mark in passing yards this season and also the first time this season they’ve recorded a passing touchdown.

Taymon Cooke was the Aggies’ leading receiver against Hampton with three receptions for 77 yards. He got A&T on the scoreboard first with a 46-yard touchdown off a jet sweep play on the game's opening drive. Sophomore wideout Ger-Cari Caldwell enjoyed his best showing of the season with five catches for 54 yards.

Ultimately that wasn’t enough to get back in the win column, but at least it provided Brown and his program with some much-needed hope and optimism as they prepare for the week-long cultural phenomenon known as the Greatest Homecoming on Earth.

Their opponent this Saturday will be the Towson Tigers, who enter the contest 3-5 overall, with a 3-3 mark in the CAA.

Just one week after sending shockwaves throughout the FCS landscape with a 34-24 upset over then 13-ranked William & Mary, the Tigers crashed back down to earth last Saturday in a 51-13 home loss to No. 5 Delaware.

This will be the 98th homecoming game in school history and the Aggies are 10-1 in their last 11 GHOE matchups. A&T has prevailed in those contests by an average of 30.7 points.

“We have a very challenging opponent coming up with Towson,” said Brown, who is still looking for his first career win at Truist Stadium. “In this conference we ignore the records because every week you must be at your very best in order to win. I’m excited about what GHOE is and, as I shared with our guys, it is about being prepared to play and win this game. And then we’ll celebrate after we win.”

In order to accomplish that feat, Brown knows his team must be better at protecting the football.

Against Hampton, the Aggies were driving for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter when running back Kenji Christian was stripped of the ball after a seven-yard gain. Earlier in the first half, A&T saw another potential scoring drive thwarted when White’s pass on third and short was intercepted near the Pirates' goal line.

The growing pains for this young Aggie team have been painful at times, but despite the losing record Brown believes significant progress has been made and his team continues to show great character.

“Most people don’t realize how challenging it is to go out and give your very, very best in spite of your record when it's easy to pack it in. Our kids have done a tremendous job of fighting and straining to finish.”