Defeating the North Carolina A&T Aggies wasn’t easy, as the Rattlers got all they could handle from the team that remains at the bottom of the MEAC conference.
When a team turns the ball over three times, commits 16 penalties for 170 yards, and gives up 361 total yards – 200 of those yards on the ground, the end result usually isn’t good.
Luckily, the Rattlers (3-6) (2-4) welcomed the winless North Carolina A&T State University Aggies (0-9) (0-6) who came into Bragg Stadium losing 25 games in a row.
The Aggies gave the Rattlers its best shot, as FAMU barely escaped with a win; FAMU’s first since the 18-17 Atlanta Classic victory over Tennessee State.
North Carolina A&T State wasn’t the only team coming into Saturday’s game on a losing skid, as it had been over a month since the Rattlers won a game, a stretch of four straight loses.
Senior Wesley Taylor booted a 33 yard field goal with 45 seconds remaining on the clock to give FAMU a 24-21 victory.
After starting off slow, the Rattlers first got on the board with a 37 yard field goal by Taylor, to give FAMU a 3-0 lead with 2:03 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, red shirt freshmen Eddie Battle replaced senior Leon Camel and lit up the Aggie secondary, tossing touchdown strikes of 30 and 73 yards to Willie Hayward to put the Rattlers up 18-0 after Camel converted a two-point conversion on a fake extra point.
“He [Battle] shows that every day in practice so when we come out here on Saturday that’s just for the fans,” Hayward said. “He’s the future and it’s a lot of big things to come from him.”
Just as FAMU seemed to run away with the game, the Aggies responded with two touchdowns of its own in the second quarter.
Junior running back Michael Ferguson ran for a two yard score and quarterback Herbert Miller found wide receiver Mike Caldwell from 33 yards out to bring the Aggies within four at halftime.
During halftime, the Marching 100 took up more time than allotted. As the Aggie team walked back to the sideline, the band remained on the field and sideline, not allowing the Aggies to get back to its sideline. Because of this, North Carolina A&T Head Coach, Lee Fobbs Jr., took his team back to the locker room causing a delay in the start of the second half.
As a result, halftime lasted over an hour and FAMU was penalized 30 yards as the Aggies kicked from the Rattler 40 yard line.
“I don’t see any control. We were trying to get on the sideline to get ready for the second half, it was unbelievable they wouldn’t even listen [to] their director so I just took my team off the field to keep away from an incident,” said Fobbs.
The halftime incident seemed to fire up the Aggies as they scored on a quarterback keeper by Miller to give the Aggies a 21-18 lead.
FAMU was able to fight through two-second half turnovers as Taylor kicked two second half field goals from 43 and 33 yards including the game winner.
“I have total confidence in Wesley Taylor and his ability to kick the field goal and to be able to punt the ball,” Head coach Rubin Carter said. “We ask him to do a lot.”