The annual Florida Blue Florida Classic ended as the Wildcats defeated the Rattlers 29-24, as they erased a 14-point deficit during the fourth quarter. The win extended the Wildcats’ winning streak against the Rattlers to seven games.
Although this was one of the closest games between Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Bethune Cookman University (BCU) since the Wildcats began their six game winning streak against the Rattlers, FAMU still fell short of a victory.
“The team demeanor as a whole was very disappointed after the game,” freshman linebacker Zoron Wade said. “The close loss is nothing but a lesson on how to finish.”
The Rattlers offense had trouble moving the ball in the first quarter, only accumulating 30-yards of total offense off one offensive drive. BCU’s Senior Quarterback Larry Brihm played an exceptional quarter, as he threw for 110 yards while completing 11-of-12 passes, including a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Things finally started working for the Rattlers in the second quarter, as quarterback Ryan Stanley led a 76-yard drive early on in the quarter that was capped off by a 31-yard touchdown pass to Kareem Smith. Each team traded a field goal to tie the game up at halftime 10-10.
The Rattlers put together a 10-play drive that ended with a four yard touchdown run by Ricky Henrilus to put them ahead 17-10. Each team had a takeaway in the quarter. Devin Bowers threw an interception off a designed wildcat play, while FAMU’s defense forced a turnover that was later recovered by Antonio Miller.
Devin Bowers scored on an eight yard touchdown, extending the Rattlers lead 24-10. That drive would be the Rattlers last trip to the end zone, as the Wildcats defense played lights out in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats scored on three straight offensive possessions, including the go-ahead run by Larry Brihm to put them ahead in the game 29-24. BCU’s defense finished off the Rattlers with a game clinching interception thrown by Ryan Stanley with 39 seconds left in the game.
“We had great leaders on the team uplift everyone after the game,” Wade said. “Once we get the ability to finish games, there will be nothing but success for our team.”
The Rattlers ended the season 3-8, finishing seventh in the MEAC Conference. The Wildcats end the year 7-4, finishing third in the MEAC.