GREENSBORO, N.C. - Robert Council threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Andrew King with 10 seconds left to give Morgan State a dramatic 21-18 victory over North Carolina A&T Thursday night.
Mike Mayhew had set a school record early in the second half, then scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to help North Carolina A&T take an 18-14 lead.
N.C. A&T (2-2) temporarily preserved the lead by stopping Morgan State on downs with 3:27 left after the Bears had driven to the Aggies' 14-yard line.
But Morgan State (2-2) scored the game-winning touchdown on a 77-yard drive that started with 1:43 left.
The Bears got to the Aggies' 14-yard line before an intentional grounding penalty sent Morgan State back to the 32 with 18 seconds left. But on the next play Council hit King in the end zone for the winning score.
A couple of big offensive plays catapulted Morgan State into the lead in what was otherwise a defensive tussle in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener for both teams Thursday night at Aggie Stadium.
Morgan State held a 14-12 lead with 8 1/2 minutes remaining before N.C. A&T defensive tackle Chris Neal recovered a fumble at the Morgan State 23-yard line to set up Mayhew's second touchdown in barely more than three minutes.
Morgan State tight end Kristian Johnson was on the receiving end of a 34-yard touchdown pass from Council with 13:05 remaining as the Bears built a 14-6 edge.
The margin didn't last long because N.C. A&T responded on Mayhew's 19-yard touchdown run at the 9:52 mark. A two-point conversion pass was caught out of bounds, leaving Morgan State with a 14-12 lead despite the Aggies' eight-play, 84-yard drive.
The Aggies' second touchdown was set up by Darren Bullock's 30-yard, third-down catch from Lewis Kindle.
Johnson did most of the work on Morgan State's second touchdown, dodging would-be tacklers for the final 30 yards of the play.
After losing by 60 points in its previous game at Akron, Morgan State accomplished one of coach Donald Hill-Eley's pregame objectives by finding a way to "bleed slow," as he called it, for most of the game when things aren't going well.
The Bears had to punt nine times through three quarters, while N.C. A&T had six punts entering the fourth quarter.
Mayhew became N.C. A&T's all-time leading rusher with 1:20 left in the first half on a seven-yard run. That didn't last long because the senior lost six yards on his next carry.
Mayhew regained the record on the first play from scrimmage of the second half with a three-yard run. He passed Maurice Hicks, who gained 2,812 yards by the time his career ended in 2001.
Mayhew, who picked up 233 rushing yards in last year's victory against the Bears, shared time in the backfield with freshman Dominique Drake until Drake left with a third-quarter leg injury. Drake had 24 yards on six carries in the game.
Morgan State went ahead 7-6 with 2:13 left in the first half on Travis Davidson's 45-yard touchdown run.
Davidson, a running back who leads the conference in rushing, had only 8 yards on seven previous carries.
N.C. A&T's D'Vonte Graham returned the ensuing kickoff to the Morgan State 36-yard line. That led to Zach Cimaglia's missed 39-yard field goal as the Aggies failed to regain the lead.
The Aggies scored first on Drake's one-yard run with 6:42 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was set up on Kindle's 55-yard pass to Larry Raper.
Cimaglia, a freshman, missed the extra-point attempt wide left. It was his first misfire in 16 extra-point kicks
Morgan State threatened on the ensuing possession, moving inside the N.C. A&T 30-yard line before Chris Neal intercepted a third-down screen pass.
Morgan State, playing the third game of a four-game stretch of road outings on the schedule, changed quarterbacks after two series when Council replaced Seth Higgins.
NOTES: Combined with coaching stops at North Carolina Central and Grambling State, N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway's teams entered the game with a 39-6 career record in home games. . . This was the first televised home game from Aggie Stadium in five years. N.C. A&T hasn't played well in front of the live cameras in recent years, losing its previous five TV games by an average margin of 36.5 points. . . . Fantasia, the 2004 American Idol winner who's from nearby High Point, sang the national anthem.