Rattlers prepare to muzzle Bulldogs

The Rattler Football team is ready for the challenge that it is about to face in Orangeburg, S.C. against the Bulldogs of South Carolina State.

According to quarterback Leon Camel, they are not down nor are they out in the quest for the 2007 Mid-Eastern Athletics Conference championship title.

The game, which is being played at the O.C. Dawson Bulldog Stadium, beginning at 2 p.m., will be a nationally televised battle. Both teams are in great need of another MEAC win.

The game will be televised on ESPNU. The Rattlers are now 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the MEAC. The South Carolina State Bulldogs was the pre-season favorite to take the title. But they are having their own troubles coming to a close double-overtime loss to Norfolk State last week 20-13.

The Bulldogs are 2-3 overall for the season and 1-1 in the MEAC. However, the loss to Norfolk State might negatively impact them in the race for the MEAC championship title.

According to coach Carter, the Rattlers have been in “must-win” mode since their conference-opening loss to Delaware State.

Players to watch in Orangeburg will no doubt be the same that shine each weekend. The offense and special teams will have freshman sensation Philip Sylvester to get the ball down the field. Slyvester ranks second in the nation in all-purpose running, averaging 210 yards per game. He is also in the running for a 1000 yard season which would put him in the record books along with three-time Black College All-America rusher at Florida A&M, Willie Galimore. Quarterback Leon Camel’s quick and energetic style will also benefit the offense.

The defense will have verterans keep the momentum. Linebackers Dannel Shepard, tackle Lymon Reed and Vernon Wilder lead the team in tackles and tackles will be what they need on Saturday. Shepard has 41 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 3.0 sacks. Lymon has 29 tackles and two fumble recoveries; and Wilder- 24 tackles, 8.0 for loss, 3.5 sacks.

The Bulldogs running back William Ford, who rushed for 131 yards against FAMU in Tallahassee a year ago. The defense is according to Wilder will “work to stop the run.”

There were 11 fumbles in the Circle City Classic last weekend. Most of these fumbles were in the red zone for the Rattlers. Saturday, to take home the win, the Rattlers want to stop the run, hold the ball and win the game. Taking care of these issues will put the team one step closer to the title.