Cohen, N.C. A&T keep Hornets winless with 45-14 romp

DOVER — Based on the first quarter, the Delaware State University football team seemed primed for a shocking upset.

Reality soon set in — after all, Tarik Cohen was on the other team.

Cohen rushed for 221 yards on only 13 carries to lead North Carolina A&T, the No. 9 team in FCS, over the Hornets 45-14 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Cohen, a likely NFL draft pick, scored twice for the Aggies (9-1 overall, 7-0 MEAC). He scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 84-yard rush.

“Tarik Cohen does that against everybody,” said DSU coach Kenny Carter.

Freshman tight end Isaiah Williams gains yardage vs. N.C. A&T. (DSU sports information)

Freshman tight end Isaiah Williams gains yardage vs. N.C. A&T. (DSU sports information)

Thanks to Cohen, the Hornets remained winless. They dropped to 0-10 overall and 0-7 in the conference with their last chance to earn a victory coming next weekend at Howard.

The six Delaware State seniors were honored before the game and left to rue missed opportunities in their home finale.

The Hornets started the contest with a nine-play, 80-yard drive, with a 12-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Isaiah Williams by senior quarterback Gilbert Rivera. Rivera was starting his second game of the year and completed three of his four attempts on that drive for 48 yards.

“That was one of the best drives we had all season,” said senior wide receiver Aris Scott. “We had no flaws and we scored. We had good energy coming out. We knew we could play with them. I felt like we could have won the game but we made a few mistakes and the outcome was just that.”

Cohen tied the game with a 59-yard score in the first quarter but DSU had plenty of chances to take the lead back. Freshman Keenan Black blocked a punt but the resulting drive ended in a turnover on downs in the red zone.

Delaware State also turned the ball over on downs when a fake field goal was unsuccessful. The Aggies scored 28 unanswered points before Mike Waters got DelState back on the board with a touchdown from a yard out.

The Aggies scored on the following possession and ended the game with 17 consecutive points as DSU went scoreless.

Rivera threw for 224 yards on 21-of-34 passing.

“We showed that we can be in the game with them,” Rivera said. “We’re really young and they’re ninth in the nation. We showed we can play with them. You take away a few mistakes and we’re right there.”

Scott had eight catches for 100 yards receiving. Mason Rutherford recorded 71 yards with seven catches.

“You can tell we’re getting better,” Scott said. “We had one of the best practices I had ever at DelState this week. You can tell it’s just simple mistakes. The difference between us and them is we make mistakes and they capitalize on them while they make mistakes and we don’t capitalize on them.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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