In the two teams’ first meeting since 1973, the Florida A&M rushing attack was more than enough to help the Rattlers garner a 31-10 victory over the North Carolina Central Eagles on Saturday.
Lavante Page scored two touchdowns and Eddie Rocker ran for 128 yards in the teams’ fourth consecutive win.
Page carried the ball 12 times for 32 yards en route to his 13th and 14th touchdowns this season. Page leads the conference in touchdowns (14) and scoring (8.0) this season.
Rocker, FAMU’s leading rusher on the season, had his second consecutive 100-plus yard game, the first being a 107-yard performance against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.
Damien Fleming improved to 4-1 as the starter for the Rattlers, going 15-of-24 for 186 yards and two passing touchdowns.
Kevin Elliott led the Rattler receiving corps with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
After Page’s two scores, Fleming found Anthony Ray, who fumbled near the goal line. Tobias Lee recovered the fumbled and scored the third FAMU touchdown.
Anthony Shutt’s interception helped the Rattler defense move to second place all time in school history for interceptions in a season, breaking the tie with the defense of 1999.
The 1981 squad maintains the record with 35 takeaways during that season. Shutt also led the team in tackles for the game with eight (one for a loss).
NCCU (2-8, 1-6 in the MEAC) was led by quarterback Michael Johnson, and his 17 yards on the ground on 11 carries. He went 16-of-31 for 185 yards and an interception. He would also get the Eagles only score of the day on a three-yard run.
Decona Roberts led the Eagles in receiving with 50 yards on four catches.
The Eagles defense was spearheaded by Brandon Outlaw and his game-high 11 tackles, eight of which were solo.
FAMU (7-3, 5-2 in the MEAC) now leads the all-time series against the Eagles 5-1-1.
With their win against Morgan State University, the Norfolk State Spartans clinched the conference crown. The Rattlers are tied with their next opponent for the second spot.
The team’s next challenge will come in the Florida Classic, where the team will battle the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats in a match-up for a second place finish in the conference.
The game will be held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. And will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic.