BOONE, N.C. (AP) -- Tony McRae's 91-yard kickoff return boosted North Carolina A&T out of an early deficit in its season opener as the Aggies held off Appalachian State 24-21 Saturday night.
McRae's first-quarter return erased a 6-0 Mountaineer lead and North Carolina A&T didn't trail again.
Aggies linebacker D'Vonte Grant caught an interception in the last minute of the first half and returned it 57-yards to make the lead 21-6. A field goal by Cody Jones capped the Aggies streak halfway through the fourth quarter.
Kameron Bryant took over as quarterback in the second half and breathed life into Appalachian State (0-2). A TD pass to Barrett Burns and a successful two-point conversion tightened the score to 24-14. Bryant completed a final TD pass to Marcus Cox with less than a minute remaining, and finished the night 21 of 31 for 191 yards.