Saturday’s game was an atrocity. The mediocre Nicholls State football team, which didn’t even throw one pass, pummeled the Rattlers. There were botched and blocked kicks, bad snaps, confusion and interceptions. The Colonels successfully ran trick plays on the Rattlers making them look inattentive and unfocused. Fans were booing the Marching 100 after its half-time performance. The cheerleaders were dropping each other and the Venom dancers again failed to prove their purpose.
Note: If you’re going to stand on the football field to welcome the players with the cheerleaders, the least you could do is wave your pom-poms and smile.
But I’m sure everyone has heard enough about the disappointing points, so I’ll move on to the more positive aspect of Saturday’s game.
Freshman quarterback Albert Chester II took his first snap for the Rattlers Saturday, coming in for an injured Ben Dougherty in the third quarter. Chester came out strong, capitalizing on the first two drives of his collegiate career for two scores. First, he hit Gerard Morgan with a 44-yard pass. Next, he handed the ball off to Rashard Pompey who ran for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Chester’s commendable debut performance as a Rattler got the otherwise inattentive crowd’s attention. He gave the 8,000 fans who were in attendance at the start of the game a reason to stick around for the fourth quarter. He had people wondering, “Can the Rattlers come back?”
But it was a little too late.
It’s a shame that Chester’s impressive performance had to come in a game in which the Rattlers played so poorly. I’m sure he didn’t mind it too much though.
He wasn’t even supposed to play.
Dougherty’s unfortunate injury opened up the opportunity for the backups and Chester was eagerly awaiting his first collegiate snap.
“Chester had his helmet on and was right next to me on the sidelines whereas Josh (Driscoll) couldn’t find his helmet immediately,” said Head Coach Billy Joe. “Then once Chester got in, I decided to leave him in since he was doing well, and with Josh just getting back from the flu Friday, I had some concerns about playing him from a health perspective.”
While a cloud of pessimism lingers over the head of Rattler football, Rattler fans got a sneak peak at the future of FAMU football. It looks as though the Rattlers will be in good hands once young Chester sharpens his skills. After all, his father was a three-time MVP and member of the oh-so-heralded 1978 Division I-AA championship team.
Who knows, maybe Chester will lead the 2006 Rattler squad to another.
Until then, fans will just have to wait.
Although Chester had an impressive performance this weekend, he’s still third on the depth chart.
Elizabeth Broadway is a senior newspaper journalism student from Atlanta. She is editor in chief for The Famuan. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.