Slipping by the Spartans on Saturday, the Rattlers preserved their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and Division I-AA playoff hopes for yet another week.
Few expected Norfolk State to play a game even close to that of the Rattlers. It was supposed to be a blow-out. A blow-out it definitely was not, but I’m sure the team is happy with the win.
The fate of the Rattler team was placed into the hands of the proven reliable back-up quarterback, Reggie Hayes. With the score tied at 24 and a little over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Hayes came into the game for starter Casey Printers.
Completing five of nine pass attempts for 126 yards, and throwing a touchdown pass to Maurice Demps with a little over two minutes left in the contest, Hayes moved the Rattlers closer and closer to victory.
The win was not completely sealed, however, until junior safety Levy Brown caught his eighth interception of the season. Brown picked off a pass from Norfolk State quarterback Dontrell Leonard with nine seconds remaining in the game. Brown, who is recovering from an injured rotator cuff, was placed on the injured list three weeks ago and was not supposed to play at all against the Spartans.
Brown, who has pulled in an interception in every game that he has played in this season, will likely lead the Rattler defense.
A good defensive and special teams effort along with the Printers-Hayes quarterback tag team, the Rashard Pompey-Devvin Richardson running duo and the powerful wide receiver squad should give the Rattlers enough cushion to emerge with the necessary win over the Pirates.
Hampton lost a heartbreaker (41-47) Saturday to South Carolina State in double overtime and those nasty little Pirates will be looking to flatten our homecoming spirits and the Rattler winning streak during their visit to Bragg Stadium this weekend.
Elizabeth Broadway, 19, is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Alpharetta, Ga. She is The Famuan’s sports editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.