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Florida HBCU

Leave No Doubt: FAMU Wins 13 Straight at Bragg Memorial

Jae Fortune

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Florida A&M University left no room for doubt on Saturday evening. Rattlers outmatched the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State University, 34-7, for their thirteenth straight win at home.

Caught in the Snake Pit

As expected, the ‘Dark Clouds’ defense of the Rattlers was on full display for the 10,699 reported fans at Bragg Memorial Stadium in Tallahassee. However, arguably the best home-field advantage in HBCU football was on full display as well. Newly renovated, the iconic venue hasn’t witnessed the Rattlers lose to an opposing team in four years. That said, MVSU’s storied football program has never defeated FAMU at all.

When Dark Clouds Gather (Again)

After allowing the Devils a single-scoring drive in the opening minutes of the game, five different Rattlers recorded sacks on the hapless quarterback from Itta Bena, Mississippi. Isaiah Major and Kortney Cox led the way with five key tackles each, and other key contributions to an effort that held the visiting team scoreless for three quarters. MVSU ended the day with 139 total yards of offense.

On the offensive side of the ball, FAMU’s 400+ yards of offense, including 200+ on the arm of starting quarterback Jeremy Moussa, was more than enough for MVSU, while still being an achievement for the talent-rich program. Celebrating a streak of his own, Xavier Smith of Haines City (Ridge HS), has now scored a touchdown in three straight game, and eclipsed his season total from last year. Despite this, Head Coach Willie Simmons made no secret of his disappointment with the offense’s first-half effort.

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 “Offensively, we struggled, didn’t take advantage of a lot of situations. I really challenged the guys at halftime to be the offense that we are capable of being.”

 

Next week’s contest will certainly be a harder test for Coach Simmons’ team than winless Mississippi Valley State. But for now, the streak continues, and the FAMU faithful seem united behind one goal:

Just don’t lose at Bragg.


On October 8th, the Rattlers travel to a far-less accommodating venue, while seeking their first road win of the season at Olive C. Dawson Stadium against the defending Celebration Bowl champion South Carolina State Bulldogs.

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Florida HBCU

Ratters Gain Bragging Rights Against BCU in Florida Classic

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Dominque Tarver

In the much-anticipated Week 12 clash between the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the powerhouse Florida A&M Rattlers, the stakes were high as both teams approached the grand finale of their Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season campaign.

This annual showdown between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is not merely confined to the realm of football; it stands as a cherished tradition with significance that transcends the boundaries of the playing field. FAMU has won 10 games since 1999 and BCU needed an answer to the dominate performances but couldn’t find one.

 

The Rattlers, going into the game FAMU was boasting an impressive 9-1 record, including a flawless 7-0 SWAC performance, have ascended to the seventh position in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll. Their momentum continued with a commanding 28-0 victory over Lincoln (CA) last week, marking their eighth consecutive triumph.

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The spotlight of this electrifying showdown not only falls on team accomplishments but also on individual performances that fueled the Rattlers’ dominance. Quarterback Moussa delivered a stellar performance, amassing 150 yards with a 14/21 completion rate, and showcasing precision in execution. However, it was the Rattlers’ elite rushing corps that truly stole the show, with three different players rushing for 30+ yards. Terrel Jennings emerged as the standout, making a lasting impact with 2 touchdowns and an impressive 62 yards on 8 carries.

On the Bethune-Cookman side, quarterback Walter Simmons demonstrated resilience with 79 yards, 1 interception, and a rushing touchdown. Although the rushing core exhibited decent performances, amassing a total of 127 rushing yards, they fell short in securing touchdowns. Jimmie Robinson III led the core with notable contributions.

As the dust settles on this fierce encounter, it becomes evident that Bethune-Cookman faces a strategic challenge in capitalizing on its rushing game to open up more intermediate throwing lanes. The need for refinement in their offensive approach is clear, and the Wildcats will undoubtedly be seeking solutions as they navigate the remainder of the season.

With the Rattlers reveling in their triumph, this dynamic matchup sets the stage for further excitement as both teams chart their course toward postseason glory. Stay tuned for more gridiron drama and the unfolding narrative of SWAC supremacy.”

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Florida HBCU

Bethune-Cookman Roars to Victory with a Dominant Ground Game, Defeating Alabama A&M 31-14

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

In a resounding display of ground dominance, Bethune-Cookman delivered a season-best performance, rushing for an impressive 412 yards and securing a convincing 31-14 victory over Alabama A&M at Daytona Stadium in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football clash. The game, dedicated to “Senior Appreciation Day,” paid tribute to 22 seniors from various facets of the Wildcats’ community.

Ground Attack Reigns Supreme

Bethune-Cookman’s ground assault was led by Walter Simmons III, who garnered a game-high 165 yards. The Wildcats boasted three players with over 100 rushing yards, showcasing the depth of their formidable running game.

A Fourth-Quarter Surge

Despite trailing 14-7 at halftime, Bethune-Cookman staged a remarkable comeback, outscoring the Bulldogs 21-0 in a dominant fourth quarter. The turning point came when Mar’Kai Shaw, fueled by a 52-yard sprint, secured a crucial touchdown, giving the Maroon and Gold a 17-14 lead.

Simmons’ Dual Threat

Walter Simmons III, stepping in after an injury to starting quarterback Tylik Bethea, showcased his dual-threat capabilities. Simmons not only orchestrated a 47-yard touchdown run but also added a 22-yard rush, contributing to the Wildcats’ fourth-quarter surge.

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Defensive Brilliance

The Wildcats’ defense intensified in the second half, with Omari Hill-Robinson intercepting a Quincy Casey pass and setting the stage for Simmons’ second score. The defensive effort, featuring key plays from Dearis Thomas, Joshua Thornhill, and others, proved instrumental in stifling Alabama A&M.

Looking Ahead

Bethune-Cookman concludes the 2023 season on a high note, finishing 3-1 at home. The Wildcats now set their sights on the Florida Blue Florida Classic in Orlando, Florida, facing in-state rival Florida A&M on November 18th at Camping World Stadium. With a potent ground game and resilient defense, Bethune-Cookman aims to cap the season with another triumph in this highly anticipated matchup.

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Florida HBCU

Florida A&M Dominates Lincoln (Ca.) with a Resounding 28-0 Victory

Kevyn Bryant II

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copyright FAMU Athletics

In a commanding defensive showcase, Florida A&M extended their home winning streak to an impressive 19 games by overpowering Lincoln (Ca.) with a decisive 28-0 triumph. The Rattlers showcased their prowess on both ends of the field, improving their season record to an impressive 9-1, while Lincoln (Ca.) struggled, falling to 0-11.

Defensive Brilliance Takes Center Stage

Florida A&M’s defensive unit orchestrated a masterclass, holding the Oaklanders to a mere 171 total yards. The Rattlers asserted their dominance by restricting both the passing and rushing game, allowing only 139 yards through the air and a mere 32 on the ground. Defensive standouts, led by Deco Wilson with five tackles, one interception, and a defensive touchdown, ensured that the Oaklanders found little room to maneuver. James Ash contributed with an interception, and Johnny Chaney Jr. added four tackles, 1.0 TFL, and a crucial sack.

Ground Game Dominance

Terrell Jennings led the Rattlers’ ground assault, amassing 53 yards with an impressive 6.6 yards per carry, while Kevin Sawyer Jr. contributed 37 yards with a remarkable 9.2 yards per carry. Nicholas Dixon chipped in with two catches for 25 yards, adding versatility to Florida A&M’s offensive display.

Game-Changing Moments

Florida A&M seized control early, scoring with just 16 seconds left in the first quarter to establish a 7-0 lead. A relentless offensive effort and a stellar defensive showcase allowed the Rattlers to extend their lead to 21-0. The dominance continued, with another touchdown at 1:02 left in the third quarter, solidifying the 28-0 victory.

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Statistical Highlights

Florida A&M outpaced Lincoln (Ca.) with 236 total yards compared to 171, including a commanding 141-32 advantage in rushing yards. The Rattlers won the turnover battle, securing two interceptions while surrendering the ball only once. Notably, they showcased a flawless red-zone defense, allowing zero points in two trips.

In a game marked by defensive prowess, offensive efficiency, and strategic dominance, Florida A&M’s resounding victory underscored their status as a force to be reckoned with in collegiate football. With an unyielding home winning streak and a standout defensive performance, the Rattlers are poised for continued success on the gridiron.**

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