Rattler football proves resilience

I was sitting amongst a huge Homecoming crowd on Saturday and I heard too many people saying the Rattler football team is going to lose their last two games to Bethune Cookman and next week’s opponent Troy State.

They weren’t being pessimistic; they just do not have faith.

Too many of the Rattler “unfaithfuls” have been like this all season and I am so tired of it.

Yes, the season has been rocky, but that is mostly because the injury table has been cluttered.

The Rattlers could easily be 9-1 right now (one loss to Miami) if it wasn’t for an array of key injuries, but they are 7-3, with two tough home losses to South Carolina State and Howard.

Some of those athletes that have been injured include: quarterbacks Casey Printers and Reggie Hayes, running back Rashard Pompey, receiver Dennis Bonga, safety Levy Brown, offensive lineman Shedrick Moten and Gueda Morris, and linebackers Torre Warren, Joe Sanders and Rickey Funches.

Also, defensive lineman Sean Kelly and running back Kelsie Lordeus have both sustained season-ending injuries.

Despite all these setbacks, the resilient Rattlers still have a chance at making the playoffs, after demolishing a very good Hampton team, 25-13. That game wasn’t a fluke.

The dominating effort by the defense, with their leader Levy Brown back, wasn’t a fluke.

This is my third year at FAMU and this is the best team I have seen thus far, even at this present state in which most of the key players are playing injured.

The Rattlers have finally displayed that they can stop the run.

They have also proved they can win a game on the ground, proving both of those while they were limping.

Is there anything left for them to prove to whomever still doesn’t believe in this team?

Oh yeah, I forgot about the special teams, which still needs to improve after having another punt blocked and allowing another kickoff return for a touchdown in the homecoming win.

Otherwise, I feel they are ready to go to the next level in Mobile, Alabama this weekend.

Troy State will be a formidable opponent on Saturday since they are now in the Division 1-A, but like Kevin will probably say in his preview of the game on Friday, the Rattlers have won two straight playoff contests against those Trojans (17-10 in 1999, 27-17 in 1998).

They have also won seven straight games against BCC in front the colossal crowd that always attends the Florida Classic.

So, I truly believe that if those Rattlers play just a little bit better than they did against Hampton, then they will win their next two games convincingly.

Hopefully, BCC will lose on Saturday to Hampton and SCSU will lose one of their last three games, so the Nov. 23 game in Orlando can decide the MEAC championship, once again.

TheRattlers are now back in both of the top 25 Division 1-AA polls, after arresting the Pirates on Saturday.

If the Rattlers win the MEAC, this once disastrous season will easily be turned into a remarkable one, in which the Rattlers fought to the end.

Ibram Rogers, 20, is a junior magazine production student from Manassas, Va. He is The Famuan’s deputy sports editor. He can be reached at