An upset victory over Norfolk State (6-1) (5-0) was there for the taking as the Rattlers (2-5) (1-3) welcomed the visiting Spartans last night to a rain soaked Bragg Memorial Stadium.
Coming into the game, Norfolk State was tied for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference but were 0-9 against FAMU.
The weather was in favor of FAMU to defend Norfolk State’s pass happy offense but is was the Spartans ability to run the ball right up the gut of the Rattler defense that carried Norfolk State to its 33-27 win.
“It feels great because it [is] our first winning season in division I-AA football we won our sixth game and we are 5-0 in the conference,” said Norfolk State head coach Pete Adrian.
Trailing 33-20, with just over seven minutes to play, quarterback Leon Camel hit senior wide-out Willie Hayward in the corner of the end zone to bring the Rattlers within seven..
Senior running back Darryl Jones, who finished with 258 yards rushing on 38 carries, led the Spartans to a field goal.
Camel threw his fourth interception to junior cornerback Don Carey during the last two minutes giving Carey his second pick of the game to seal the Spartan victory.
“We noticed number three [Hayward] was kind of hurt and ran a lot of short routes we were really looking for the comeback not so much the deep route and I was able to jump the route,” Carey said.
The game started with a bang as both teams traded interceptions on their first drives.
FAMU struck first as freshman Philip Sylvester scored on an eight-yard touchdown run to give the Rattlers a 7-0 lead.
Norfolk State went on to score 17 unanswered points to give the Spartans a 17-7 lead.
Defensive back Jason Beach intercepted quarterback Casey Hansen and returned the ball 40 yards for a Rattler score to bring the score to 17-13.
After halftime, the Rattlers defense began to play more aggressively blitzing the Spartan offense.
Sylvester scored on a 10-yard run right up the middle of the Norfolk State defense but it was 12 penalties and four interceptions that caused another Rattler loss, their third in a row.
“If we would have won tonight, though I threw the interceptions, I would have been the hero. [But] since we lost tonight, I have to take the bad side with it,” said Camel.