In Saturday’s game against Morgan State University, the Rattlers of Florida A&M University dominated in all facets of the game and came away with a 38-3 win, marking their fifth win a row and securing their first winning season since 2011.
Early on in the first quarter with 11:13 remaining, defensive lineman Demontre Moore came up with a big play for the Rattlers defense as he recovered a forced fumble in the end zone to give the Rattlers an early 7-0 lead. FAMU’s defense was in perfect harmony all game and held MSU’s offense to only 296 yards of total offense.
Ryan Stanley also seemed to be on a mission, as he found Xavier Smith open on a flea flicker pass, which resulted in a big gain. FAMU’s offense came up with one big play after another all day long. Running back Bishop Bonnett also ignited FAMU’s offense and broke off for a 36-yard run, to ultimately set up a 23-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to Chad Hunter to give FAMU a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with 4:53 remaining.
With FAMU’s offense looking to stay aggressive, Stanley was able to find Marcus Williams for a 15-yard touchdown pass and pushed the Rattlers lead to 24-0 with 3:11 remaining in the half. On the very next drive, Stanley found Xavier Smith for a 21-yard touchdown pass, to give FAMU a 31-0 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, FAMU only put seven points on the board from a Deshawn Smith rushing touchdown with 5:10 remaining, but the game was virtually over.
In the Rattlers post-game conference, coach Willie Simmons talked about the team’s confidence during their five-game- winning streak.
“I try not to gauge that, I just look at how hard we work and the guys continue to work hard. As long as they’re doing that I don’t worry about them.
“We also haven’t achieved that ultimate goal yet of being crowned MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) champs,” Simmons said.
Stanley also touched on the team’s overall success throughout the season thus far.
“With the history that we’ve had over the past few years, we’re making very big progress. It feels great to have the guys that we’ve been through rough times with, along with the people that haven’t been talking good about us” Stanley said.
Also, linebacker Elijah Richardson was able to shed some light as to why the Rattlers defense has been so dominant throughout the season.
“We have a great group of coaches that prepare us well. We just come out hungry every day to get better and with all the talking around the conference, the school (FAMU) and the city (Tallahassee) talking about what we have done, we really haven’t done anything yet, until we get that ring on our finger” Richardson said.
Next Saturday, FAMU (6-2, 5-0 MEAC) will look to inch one step closer to the MEAC title and will take on Howard University on the road (3-4, 3-2 MEAC). The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.