Despite making some crucial mistakes the seniors of the Florida A&M University football team were able to make plays when needed to carry the team to victory in Homecoming 2007.
Tears welled in the eyes of senior kicker Wesley Taylor as he embraced his mother after nailing the game-winning kick to give the Rattlers a last minute victory over North Carolina A&T State University.
The Riviera Beach native had missed two previous kicks in the game and two potential game winners in the fourth quarter in last week’s 14-12 loss to Morgan State.
“I’ve been through it all since I been here, for me to come out and make that kick on senior night for last time at Bragg I can’t go out any better then that,” Taylor said.
Taylor had been having a see-saw year, after earning All-American honors in 2005 the senior kicker/punter had his ups and downs especially in 2007.
“I had to keep my faith and go out there and pull it out for my teammates,” Taylor said. “I am a senior and I’m supposed to do that.”
Senior running back Anthony Edwards fumbled on the one yard line in the fourth quarter as he was going into the end zone for the go ahead score.
Aggie outside linebacker Andre Thornton recovered giving North Carolina A&T the ball.
“My teammates let me know they still needed me for the rest of the game and they told me to let that one go and go out there and keep playing ball because they needed me out there and that’s exactly what I did,” Edwards said.
The Atlanta native ran for a fifteen yard gain on the first play of the game winning drive and also ran five yards to the Aggie 15 yard line to set up the game winning kick.
Edwards finished with a season high 17 carriers for 108 yards, his first 100 yard rushing game of the season.
Nagging injuries and the emergence of freshmen running back Philip Sylvester forced the senior to split time in the backfield.
On senior night with Sylvester standing on the sideline with his arm in a sling it was Edwards who gained tough yardage to open up the passing game for red shirt freshmen Eddie Battle and senior wide out Willie Hayward.
Also being nagged all season with injuries it was fitting that Hayward enjoyed his first break out performance of 2007 in his last game at Bragg Stadium.
After posing for pictures with family and friends the Miami native spoke about his performance.
“It’s just great, I thank God, I feel like I’m real blessed to come out here and put on the performance on my last game at Bragg Stadium,” Hayward said.
The season hasn’t gone as they hoped, but for seniors Taylor, Edwards, Hayward, Tyrone McGriff, Leon Camel, Ernest Williams, Dannell Shepard, Renaldo Russell, Justin Delancy, Doug Peeler, Adrian Smith and Carlos Rolle a win in their last game at Bragg was badly needed and just what the doctor ordered.