Pirates steal win from Rattlers

The FAMU Rattlers football team traveled to Hampton, Va. hoping to upset the undefeated Hampton University Pirates, but Hampton (10-0, 8-0 MEAC) defeated FAMU (5-5, 4-3 MEAC) 34-14 Saturday.

Hampton junior defensive end Alden Blizzard blocked a 51-yard field goal attempt by FAMU sophomore kicker Wesley Taylor, resulting in the Pirates starting on the FAMU 28-yard line.

With 9:57 left in the first quarter, Hampton quarterback Princeton Shepherd connected with wide receiver Marquay McDaniel for a 19-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

Sophomore quarterback Albert Chester tried to reciprocate, opening the 8-play, 53-yard drive with a 12-yard scamper. The Jacksonville native followed with a 19-yard pass to junior wide receiver Roosevelt Kiser. The team stayed with ground attack as Chester reached the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown run.

Senior running back Rashard Pompey rushed for 129 yards on 17 carries. The performance puts him over 1,000 yards for the season. Pompey needs 79 yards to become the third member of the 3,000-yard club. “We have to limit our mistakes when we play a team like Hampton,” Pompey said.

The Pirates reeled off 24 straight points behind running backs Alonzo Coleman and Ardell Daniels. Coleman rushed for 125 yards and two scores and Daniels added 114 yards in the contest.

The Rattlers tried to cut into the deficit in the fourth quarter. Junior wide receiver Aubrey Parrish caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Chester to cap a 13-play, 80-yard drive, but Junior Pirate Andrew Paterini hit an 18-yarder with 2:45 left to preserve the win.

The Rattlers plan to address their mistakes before this week’s finale in Orlando. Senior cornerback Keith Williams said, “We can’t make minor mistakes because they end up becoming major.” Anderson looks to end the season on a positive note, “As a senior, there’d be no better way to go out than with a victory over BCC.” The Rattlers meet the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in the annual Florida Classic Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

FAMU and Hampton Athletics websites contributed to this report.

Contact John W. Marsh at thefamuansports@hotmail.com