Category Archives: FAMU Football

FAMU Shuts Out Spartans

Christopher Lennie, Correspondent (@ChrisLennieFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (FranchiseSportsOnline.net)

In front of a sold out crowd for FAMU’s homecoming,  the Rattlers took the field to take on the Norfolk State Spartans. The Rattlers came out on top 17-0, as the team recorded its first shutout win since 2000 when it held Howard scoreless.

While Ryan Stanley and company struggled to get the ball moving on the offensive side of the ball, the defense did their part in getting the ball back for the offense.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

The Rattlers did mange to score a field goal with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter. They would go in at half time with a score of 3-0.

Coming out of the half, the Rattlers would get the ball and continue to struggle to find the end-zone.

With 14:29 remaining in the game, the Spartans drove down to the red zone, but the Rattler defense held the Spartans to a field goal attempt that went wide left.

After a drive that started deep in the Rattlers’ own territory, Ryan Stanley found Chad Hunter in stride for a 13-yard touchdown, putting the Rattlers ahead  of Norfolk 10-0 with 9:59 remaining in the forth quarter.

With under five minutes remaining  in the game, the Rattlers defense would record an interception that would lead to a Bishop Bonnett touchdown with 2:34 remaining to seal the game for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers defense recored 3 interceptions on its way to shutting out the Spartans.

The Rattlers are now 3-0 in conference play, and get back to work preparing for North Carolina A&T.

 

GAME PREVIEW: FAMU TAKES ON EAGLES

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –  The Florida A&M football team will go up against North Carolina Central Eagles (1-2) Saturday in Durham, NC at 4 p.m. on ESPN3.

The Rattlers (2-2 , 1-0) are coming off a 31 -13 win against Savannah State Tigers (0-3,  0-1). This was also a conference game for the Rattlers.

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In the game, Rattlers quarterback Ryan Stanley ended the game with 14 attempts and 20 completions for 166 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Also, sophomore running back Bishop Bonnett finished the game with 94 rushing yards and one touchdown. He also contributed in the passing game with two catches for 70 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Senior running back Devin Bowers ended the game with eight carries for 53 yards. Running back Deshawn Smith also contributed with seven carries for 28 yards and one touchdown.

Leading the FAMU receiving group was redshirt freshman Xavier Smith, ending the game with five catches for 47 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt junior Marcus Williams finished the game with four catches for 44 yards.

North Carolina Central is coming off a 55-13 loss versus Duke Blue devils (4-0). Duke outgained the Eagles in passing and rushing yards. The Blue Devils had a total of 256 passing yards compared to the Eagles 56. Duke rushed for 372 yards in contrast to North Carolina Central’s 136.

This is a well-known conference game between the Rattlers and Eagles. Both teams are hoping to get a win to add on their conference record.

Rattlers Win Conference Opener Against Savannah State

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a disappointing loss to Jackson State last week, FAMU entered conference play against Savannah State on Saturday. The Rattler offense exploded in the second half to pull out a 31-13 win over the Tigers.

The game was the classic tale of two halves for FAMU. Quarterback Ryan Stanley went 7 of 12 for 37 and two interceptions through the first two periods. The entire offense totaled only 76 yards on 26 plays before the break. He would finish the contest 14 of 20 for 166 yards and added a touchdown pass.

The Rattlers would score 28 of their points after halftime, in large part because of the efforts of redshirt sophomore running back Bishop Bonnett. Bonnett had 94 yards on the ground on nine carries with a rushing touchdown. He added two catches for 70 yards and a receiving score as well, including a 69-yard reception in the third to help jumpstart FAMU’s offense.

Bonnet was awarded the game ball and said he would give it to his daughter. He said his habits made it so that the results were no surprise. 

“That’s all I do is work and watch film,” Bonnett said. “I can’t really say that I’m on an emotional high because I expected this. We were supposed to beat them like that.”

FAMU head coach Willie Simmons heaped praise on Bonnett’s work off the field. He said Bonnett doesn’t allow his 5-foot-9-inch frame to stop him from making an impact on the field.

“He is kind of the heartbeat of this football team. He is small in stature but big in heart. He shows that regardless of the situation he comes to work every day and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Simmons said. “I’m not surprised because I see it every day in practice.”

Redshirt freshman Xavier Smith led the FAMU receiving corps with five catches for 47 yards. Marcus Williams hauled in four passes for 44 yards.

In addition to Bonnett, FAMU running backs Devin Bowers and Deshawn Smith contributed to the Rattlers 186 yards on the ground. Bowers carried the ball eight times for 53 yards and Smith had seven runs for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Punter Chris Faddoul, the conference leader in average yards per punt at 38.2, punted five times for 231 yards and a long of 55 yards.  He averaged 46.2 yards per punt on the evening.

Simmons said to have Faddoul on the roster is a huge advantage for the Rattlers. He even put him in the class of some of the collegiate football elites.

“Averaging almost 50 yards a punt, Chris continues to punt at an All-American level,” Simmons said. “He continues to flip the field for us and it’s a huge weapon.”

Savannah State played two quarterbacks throughout the night. TJ Bell threw for 88 yards on 7 of 15 passing with an interception and D’vonn Gibbons went 5 of 13 for 65 yards.

Gibbons led the ground attack for the Tigers with 13 carries for 94 yards. Treveyon Pratt has one reception for 36 yards while D’Andre had three catches for 19 yards. 

The Tigers kicked off the game’s scoring on a four-yard touchdown run by JaMichael Baldwin at the 9:15 mark in the first quarter to give SSU a 7-0 lead.

FAMU kicker Yahia Aly got FAMU on the board with a 27-yard field goal with 2:45 left in the second quarter to bring the score to 7-3. It would remain that way going into the half.

Stanley hit Bonnett up the middle seam for a 69-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give the Rattlers their first lead of the game at 10-7. 

After forcing the Tigers into a three and out, Smith plowed his way into the endzone from one yard out late in the third quarter to push the Rattlers’ lead to 17-7. Running back Azende Rey added a four-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to increase the lead to 24-7.

With 6:31 left in the game, SSU sophomore running back Jaylen McCloud closed the gap to 24-13 with a two-yard rushing score. FAMU responded less than a minute later with a nine-yard rushing score by Bonnett to push the lead to 31-13.

FAMU will travel to Durham, NC to face conference foe North Carolina Central in a 1 p.m. kickoff.

FAMU VS Savannah State Preview

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Florida A&M University Rattlers men’s football team will take on the Savannah State University Tigers at Bragg Memorial Stadium.  

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

FAMU comes into the contest 1-2 after losing to Jackson State by a score of 18-16.  Savannah State comes into the game off a bye week due to their game against Howard being postponed. In their last game, the Tigers loss to the University of Miami 77-0.

This will be both team’s first conference game in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.  The last matchup between the teams saw the Rattlers defeat the Tigers 20-14. The Rattlers will look to limit sloppy play and turnovers. FAMU quarterback Ryan Stanley said he doesn’t want a repeat of last week’s loss.

“Overall I felt like it was a sloppy game. It was too many penalties,” Stanley said. “I think I played alright but it is always room for me to get better.”

Stanley threw for 340 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions last Saturday against Jackson State.  On the other hand, Savannah State’s passing game was nonexistent against Miami. Their quarterbacks combined for six completions on 12 attempts for 38 yards and two interceptions.

Both teams are coming off two-game losing streaks and will look to turn their seasons around by winning the first conference game of the season.

Defense Leads FAMU To Opening Day Win Over Fort Valley State

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida A&M University head football coach Willie Simmons’ calling card has always been his offense. On Saturday, it was the former quarterback’s defense that shined in the Rattlers’ 41-7 win over the Fort Valley State Wildcats in Bragg Memorial Stadium.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FAMU stops the Fort Valley State Drive with a blocked field goal to keep the Wildcats scoreless.

FAMU’s defensive unit didn’t allow a single rushing yard from the Wildcat offense on the day. Fort Valley totaled -12 rushing yards in the game and 291 total yards on 55 offensive plays. Five different Wildcats ended the game with negative net yardage in the ground. 

Despite this being Simmons’ first game at the helm, the team was clicking on all cylinders. Simmons said he is anxious to see where the team can go after this.

“These guys have worked extremely hard since I got here in December. They’re committed to doing things the right way. They’re committed to transforming this program to another level,” Simmons said. “They say the biggest jump for a team is from week one to week two. So I’m excited to see how big of a jump that we can make now that we have a game under our belt before the game next week.”

Sophomore linebacker Derrick Mayweather led the attack with five total tackles, including one tackle for loss and a sack. Freshman Kendrick Kelly also added five tackles while Senior linebacker Antonio Miller chipped in four tackles and a sack.

The Rattler defense also caused two turnovers and a safety. They forced two fumbles, recovering one, and senior defensive back Orlando McKinley picked off a pass midway through the second quarter. 

Mayweather said the performance from the defense started before the game even kicked off. He said this should be the start of how the defense will look to play all season.

“We just wanted to be laser-focused going in. On defense, we knew we had to play our assignments perfectly. Even if we were wrong, we just wanted to play fast to make a play. We tried to fly around every time,” Mayweather said. “We really set a tone to let everyone know that we are here and we are coming.” 

Not to be outdone, the Rattler’s new up-tempo offense was on full display in the contest. Redshirt junior quarterback Ryan Stanley was efficient all game until he was replaced late in the fourth with the game well in hand. Stanley finished the night 11-20 for 115 yards and two touchdowns. 

“I feel like overall it was a good game. The scoreboard shows 41-7 but there are a lot of missed opportunities that you can’t have against teams like Troy,” Stanley said. “I missed a few throws to Chad [Hunter] tonight early in the first and second quarter. If you miss those opportunities, it could lose you a game. We got the win tonight, so we will enjoy it.”

FAMU (1-0) rushed for 293 yards as a team, led by redshirt sophomore running back Bishop Bonnett’s 81 yards. Redshirt sophomore receiver Azende Rey added 40 yards on one carry and redshirt junior Hans Supre had 37 yards on the ground.   

Redshirt freshman receiver Xavier Smith paced the receiving corps with 2 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. Rey hauled in three passes for 25 yards and redshirt sophomore Ricky Henrilus, in his first game lining up at wideout for the orange and green after converting from running back, caught two balls for 28 yards.  

FAMU kicker Yahia Aly converted kicks of 38, 43, 24, 29, 26 and 29 yards to help give the Rattler offense a boost and set the new FAMU record for the number of field goals made in a game with six.

“As I was running out to kickoff after my fifth field goal, I heard the guy talking about the new record. I looked at the time to see if we had time left just to make sure. When I got the chance I executed and I feel very happy about it,” Aly said. “I’m also glad to have my snapper and holder. Without them, I couldn’t have done this.”

Fort Valley senior quarterback Slade Jarman completed 17-27 passes for 303 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Most of Slade’s passes connected with freshman Lorenzo Smothers. Smothers ended the day with six catches for 207 yards.

Henrilus kicked the scoring off with a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Aly connected on his first two kicks in the second quarter to put the Rattlers up two scores.  A lightning delay paused the game’s action with 5:05 left in the second and the Rattlers up 13-0.

Fort Valley (0-1) scored on its first possession once play resumed. Jarman found Smothers for a 92-yard touchdown pass, making the score 13-7. It would be the Wildcats only score of the game.

On the Rattlers’ next drive, Stanley found Smith for a 28-yard touchdown pass at the 2:15 mark in the second, his first of the season. FAMU took a 20-7 lead into halftime. 

In the third, Stanley threw his second touchdown of the game, a nine-yard strike to redshirt junior receiver Marcus Williams. Aly added his third and fourth field goals before the end of the period. 

The final period saw junior defensive back Elijah Daniels add a safety to the Rattlers dominant defensive outing and Aly connect on his fifth and, record-setting sixth field goals. 

The Rattlers will travel to Troy, Ala. to take on the Troy Trojans next Saturday at 6 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Plus. 

FAMU vs. FVSU First Half Photo Galley

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – 

VIDEO: FAMU Weekly Press Conference Highlights

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – 

 

Highlights of FAMU head football coach Willie Simmons, Quarterback Ryan Stanley and Middle Linebacker Jabreel Hazly talking about their week 1 matchup against Fort Valley State. Full press conference can be found on our YouTube page.

FAMU has 107 Student-Athletes Named to MEAC All-Academic Team

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Monday, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced the 1,366 student-athletes to make the 2018 Commissioner’s All-Academic team. Florida A&M Unversity had 107 names featured on the list, including 54 women and 53 men. 

The team is constructed of student-athletes between their junior and senior year with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. It includes all of the MEAC’s 13 institutions during the spring 2017 and fall 2017 semesters.

FAMU’s representation is a diverse bunch. On the women’s side, 24 athletes from the track and field team, nine from the basketball team, six from the volleyball team, five from the tennis team, four cheerleaders, four from the softball team and two bowling athletes made the list.

For the men, 17 from the football team, 12 from the baseball team, eight from the track and field team, eight from the tennis team, five from the golf team and three from the basketball team were on the list of honorees. 

The entire list of athletes is below:

FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY (107)

Women (54): Dicaria Alvarez (T&F), Briana Ballat (T&F), Tiara Barnes (T&F), Demetria Bethel (BWL), Cori Bostic (WBB), Mary Brooks (T&F), Shalaunda Burney-Robinson (WBB), Kierra Calhoun (CHR), Valentina Carrasco (VB), Elizabeth Clayton (TEN), Shalynn Cyprien (T&F), Taylor Darks (WBB), Lanese Davis (CHR), Whitney Farris (SB), Alelee Figueroa (T&F), Amber Fullwood (SB), Ashley Giacomucci (T&F), Alexis Gosha (VB), Amber Hannah (CHR), Akievia Hickman (CHR), Alexandria Hightower (VB), Benisha Johnson (T&F), Destiny Johnson (T&F), Shontielle Johnson (T&F), Judith Kibii (T&F), Dawn King (WBB), Caroline Kiplagat (T&F), Emmax Kiplagat (T&F), Nicole Kvitkauskas (T&F), Mia Lewis (T&F), Fridah Limo (T&F), Valeria Lopez (VB), Ginna Lopez-Chavez (VB), Karen Machisa (TEN),
Alexandria Marshall-Paul (T&F), Alicia McCray (WBB), Briana McCrimmon (WBB), Nancy Murgor (T&F), Victoria Nguyen (WBB), Florence Ouattara (WBB), Kenya Pereira (SB), April Polite (T&F), Evelyn Ralph (T&F), Tanzania Ralph (T&F), Arrice Robinson (TEN), Kiara Shaw (TEN), Olivia Simmons (T&F), Tahlia Snider (SB), Naomi Tanui (T&F), Symone Townsend (TEN), Erica Tyler (T&F), Destiny Williams (BWL), Ecenur Yurdakul (WBB), Maria Yvette
Garcia (VB)… 

Men (53): Osman Aguilera (FB), Tarique Akbar (FB), Yahia Aly (FB), Korteece Baker (T&F), Shareek Branch (T&F), William Brooks (BSB), John Capra (BSB), Elijah Casey (FB), Marquan Cromartie (FB), Prince Cunningham (GLF), Patrick Dalton (T&F), Joshua Engram (FB), Walner Espinoza (TEN), Jalen Evans (TEN), Herandre Fair-Curry (T&F), Hunter Fillingum (BSB), Jayson Francois (T&F), Aaron Hanna (T&F), Samer Hasona (TEN), Thomas Howell (T&F), Vincent Jefferies (FB), Terry Jefferson (FB), Chase Killette (GLF), Dock Luckie (FB), Mahindra Lutchman (GLF), Elijah Mays (MBB), Austin Michaud (BSB), Jacky Miles Jr. (BSB), Dennis Minefee (GLF), Octavien Moyer (BSB), Brandon Myles (MBB), Frederico Nani (TEN), Kevin Newman (FB), Desmond Noird (FB), Obinna Nwankwo (FB), Courage Okungbowa (TEN), Dallas Oliver (BSB), Shamari Pittman (FB), Michael Poole (T&F), Rodney Randers (BSB), Elijah Richardson (FB), Travis Richardson (BSB), Cameron Riley (GLF), Jacob Rios (FB), Kodi Russ (BSB), Kolton Russ (BSB), Zachary Safford (FB), Illya Skoromnyy (TEN), Nicholas Severado (MBB), Karlyn Small (TEN), Hans Supre (FB), Carlos Waitman (TEN), Garrett Wilkinson (BSB).

Green Team Defeats Orange Team in FAMU Spring Game

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –

The Green team, or the offensive team, put up four touchdowns and a field goal, while the Orange Team, or the defensive team, forced 2 turnovers, both being interceptions. The final score by the rules for the Florida A&M Orange and Green Game was the Green Team winning 36-31.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

Ryan Stanley started the game off with a 76-yard TD pass to redshirt freshman Chad Hunter.  These two would connect again, with Stanley throwing a 10-yard touchdown to Hunter, making the lead for the Green team 16-0.

The Orange team, though, would get their first points, forcing a punt and giving them three points, making the score 16-3.  The Orange team would force punts on two drives, while the Green team got it’s first field goal in the last minute of the first quarter, making the score 20-6 in favor of the Green team after one quarter.

In the second quarter, the Orange team would force three straight punts and would sack quarterback Ryan Stanley, which would tie the game at 20. The Orange team would take the lead for the first time with Chris Jerry intercepting Ryan Stanley, giving them a 25-21 advantage.  At the end of the half, the Orange team led 28-21.

In the third quarter, the Green team would convert two third downs, as well as a fourth and one, which would lead to an eight-yard rushing touchdown for freshman running back Bishop Bennett, giving the Green team a 29-28 lead. Redshirt freshman Tahj Tolbert would be intercepted, giving the Orange team a 31-29 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Green team would get another score at the start of the fourth quarter with Tolbert throwing a touchdown to redshirt freshman Dock Luckie. This would be the last score of the game, giving the green team a 36-31 win.

Newly-hired head coach Willie Simmons said his return to Tallahassee, where he was born, was “very thankful.”

“To be able to go in the stands, have people call me by my childhood name, call me by my nicknames and talking about relatives, it’s truly a special feeling for me,” Simmons said. “It was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back home. I was very thankful that this opportunity presented itself.”

Defensive back Terry Jefferson said he saw an intensity in this new coaching staff, as well as a few other differences.

“I see a lot of differences in the energy and in the intensity. They believe in us as much as we believe in them. We trust them and what they are coaching us to do,” Jefferson said.

The Rattlers will start off the 2018-2019 season with a home game against Fort Valley State on September 1.

 

Sports Brief: FAMU vs. Hampton

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Today, FAMU (2-5) will travel to Hampton, Va. to play conference rival Hampton University (4-2). 4 p.m.

FAMU is coming off a heart-wrenching homecoming lost to North Carolina A&T and Hampton is riding high on top of a two-game win streak over Norfolk State and Savannah State.

FAMU’s passing attack will be tested early and often against Hampton’s suffocating secondary. The Pirates defense boasts a staggering 170 yards allowed through the air per game. This may trouble FAMU who averages, the majority of their yards through the air, with 190 per game.

Through six games, Hampton’s defense has given up 3,162 yards on the ground, which may serve as something FAMU can exploit in the game.

On the flip side, FAMU’s Achilles heel is their lackluster rush defense who has given up 1,230 yards. Opponents average155 yards per game on the ground against the Rattlers.

 

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a devastating loss on its homecoming, the Florida A&M Rattlers football team is on a three-game losing streak.

In his weekly press conference, FAMU head coach Alex Wood would only take questions about the team’s next game against Hampton University.

Defense remains the same

Throughout the Alex Wood era, the best part of his team has always been his tough and rugged defense.

This year, the FAMU defense ranks in the top-50 in the FCS in the following categories: #No. 10 in Pass Defense, #No. 27 in Total Defense, #No. 33 in Pass Efficiency Defense and #No. in Red Zone Defense.

“We just are playing better, and playing more inspired defense,” Wood said. “I think our personnel is a little bit older, stronger, faster, and more explosive. Our guys are playing hard. Defensive coaches are doing a good job implementing schemes that are geared towards stopping the opponents.”

Despite the high praise, Wood said his team still needs to work on stopping the run.

“We said that we wanted to stop the run, but we are not quite there yet.”

Stanley’s Progress

In the middle of season, quarterback Ryan Stanley, a redshirt freshman, has struggled with turnovers. He has thrown five interceptions midway through the season.

Facing Another Giant

Hampton is 3-0 in the MEAC. This will be the second week in a row the Rattlers face a team with a winning record.

“We got some common opponents, and different results,” Wood said. “It will be tough up there. We are really looking for to the matchup.”

Hampton averages 20.4 points per game and runs the spreads offense. He credits a big portion of that to the Pirates’ offensive line.

“They have bigger and thicker guys up front, and then zone you up defensively,” Wood said.” The running back gets behind them and pops out because no one can find him.”

Defensively, Hampton runs an efficient zone defense and only allows 18.2 points per game.