Category Archives: College

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.

Florida State Seminoles vs. Virginia Cavaliers Women’s Volleyball Preview

Gabriela Rodriguez, Correspondent (@GabiRodriguezFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles women’s volleyball team will play the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday at 1 p.m in Charlottesville, Va.

After a victory against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons last Sunday, the Seminoles are ready to win their second game of conference play. Florida State’s junior hitter Payton Caffey was the player to watch in last week’s game. Caffey had 18 kills, three aces, seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore blocker Taryn Knuth also added six blocks and nine kills against the Demon Deacons.

After a disappointing loss to Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers are looking forward to getting their fifth win this season. Junior right side hitter Jelena Novakovic and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Billiard led the Cavaliers during the game against the Hokies last week. Novakovic and Billiard had a total of 17 kills and four blocks combined.  

Caffey has dominated the court with 188 kills, 11 aces, 94 digs and 25 blocks so far this season. She has earned the Seminoles a total of 212.5 points this season, while redshirt senior Christina Ambrose follows with 156.0 points.

Billard has scored 204.0 points for the Cavaliers along with 179 kills, 10 aces, 36 digs and 27 blocks. Novakovic has followed right behind earning 140.0 points this season with 110 kills, 15 aces, 45 digs and 29 blocks.

The game will be aired on ACC Network Extra.

Florida State Seminoles beat Northern Illinois during parents weekend

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)-  The Florida State Seminoles beat the Northern Illinois Huskies on parents weekend 37-19 in front of a crowd of 65,633 fans.

The Huskies won the coin toss and deferred to halftime, bringing out the Seminoles offense first.

“Good win for the Noles, we got better as a team tonight,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “When we can run the ball successfully, that’s when this offense can be what we all know this offense can be.”

On the first drive, the Seminoles marched the ball right down the field. Redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois’ pass was intended for junior wide receiver Keith Gavin but caught by senior running back Jacques Patrick for an opening drive touchdown.

The Seminoles defense forces a quick three and out against the Huskies offense.  The Huskies first drive went for three plays, two yards and lasted 1:45.  The Seminoles offense came out not skipping a beat from the first drive.  Sophomore running back Cam Akers takes the hand off right for a seven yard touchdown giving the Seminoles a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Florida States defense was huge in the first quarter, not allowing the Huskies a first down and only allowing seven total yards.

The Huskies redshirt junior safety Trayshon Foster forced the Seminoles sophomore tight end Tre’ McKitty to fumble after an 11-yard gain. The fumble was recovered by redshirt junior Antonio Jones-Davis.   The Huskies then made the Seminoles pay for that turnover when redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Childers connected with redshirt senior wide receiver Jauan Wesley for a 20-yard touchdown pass over the top midway into the second quarter.

The Seminoles junior kicker Ricky Aguayo then gets in on the fun by knocking in a field goal from 42-yards out to put the Seminoles up 17-7 with 3:58 remaining in  the half.  Seminoles defense then force another three and out and the offense moves the ball down into the red zone.  Florida State then sends Agauyo out and he drills a 50-yard field goal to send the Seminoles into halftime with a 20-7 lead.

The Seminoles struggled on both sides of the ball in the third quarter.  After a couple three and outs the Seminoles ran the ball five straight times out of the seven plays in the drive.  Aguayo came out and kicked a 42-yard field goal to put the Seminoles up 23-7 with 4:27 remaining in the third quarter.

The following drive for the Huskies was a rough one. Childers fumbled the snap and was facing third down with 13-yards to the first down.  Childers finds redshirt senior wide receiver Dale Burton down the middle for a 66-yard bomb and touchdown.

“I have to say we got better up front today, for us to execute like we did and score like we did it all starts up front, we aren’t were we need to be but are guys got better today,”Taggart said.

Francois gives the Huskies a taste of their own medicine as he finds  freshman wide receiver Tamorrion Terry for a 78-yard bomb to put the Seminoles ahead  30-13.

The Seminoles defense holds up and Francois and the offense march back on the field.  Francois then throws an interception right to the Huskies linebacker setting them up just outside the redzone.  Junior corner back Levonta Taylor then gets called for a pass interference placing the Huskies on the 11-yard line.  Childers calls his own number and puts his head down and rushes up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown run.

“Our guys are learning to get better, learning how to win and we have to continue to get better and understand those mistakes we made today we can’t make against really good football teams,” said Taggart.

The Seminoles defense comes up with a big stop on their 30-yard against the Huskies offense.  Junior running back Amir Rasul is in to close out the game and gets six straight carries with the last one finding the end zone on a seven yard carry. That was Rasul’s first career touchdown.  The Seminoles beat the Huskies 37-19.

Stats:

Offense

Deondre Francois: 23-31 352-yards 2 TD 1INT

Cam Akers: 22 carries for 75-yards 1 TD

Amir Rasul: 6 carries for 28-yards 1TD

Keith Gavin:L 6 catches for 93-yards

Nyqwan Murray: 5 catches for 85-yards

Defense:

Dontavious Jackson: 4 tackles

Fredrick Jones: 3 tackles 1 sack 1 TFL

Brian Burns: 3 tackles

 

 

 

 

 

Preview: Florida State Seminoles host Northern Illinois on Parents Weekend

 

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)- The Florida State Seminoles will host the Northern Illinois Huskies at 3:30 p.m. and will be aired on ESPNU.

The Seminoles (1-2, 0-2) take on the Huskies (1-2, 1-0) in a non-conference game.  It will be a special day for the Seminoles as it is parents weekend at Florida State.

After a disappointing loss on the road to Syracuse, the Seminoles are looking forward to getting their second win of the season.  It has been a rough start to get the offense flowing. The defense has been good, but are on the field too long getting fatigued.

The Seminoles offense is ranked 109th out of 129 total FBS schools.  The Seminoles defense is ranked 95th out of 129 FBS schools.  The Huskies offense is ranked 129th, while their defense is ranked 49th.

The Seminoles have only scored one touchdown this season against an FBS opponent and that was redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois keeping it on the read option against the Syracuse Orange.

The Huskies defense is giving up 4.6 yards a play and a total of 342-yards a game, while the Seminoles defense is giving up 5.5 yards a play and 428.3-yards a game.

The Seminoles will be dressed in the traditional gold helmets, garnet jersies and gold pants. 

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.

Rattlers Come Up Short Against Jackson State

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Florida A&M Rattlers went up against the Jackson State Tigers and fell short with a score of 18-16.

In the first quarter, both teams started off slow. Redshirt junior quarterback Ryan Stanley ran for 10 yards, putting the Rattlers at the two-yard line. Running back Azende Rey punched it in the end zone, giving the Rattlers a 7-0 lead.

Jackson State moved the football downfield but couldn’t quite get in the end zone. The Tigers settled for a field goal making the score 7-3.

The Rattlers fumbled the football on the kick return and the Tigers recovered it. Another JSU drive stalled in the red zone leading to a field goal, to bring the score to 7-6.

With 9:28 left in the third quarter, Jackson State kicked another field goal giving them a 9-7 lead.

Stanley hooked up with wide receiver Xavier Smith on a 20-yard catch and run for a touchdown giving FAMU the lead 14-9.

The Tigers scored a touchdown then tried to go for a two-point conversion. Rattler’s redshirt junior safety Terry Jefferson intercepted the ball and returned it to the end zone giving FAMU two points and making the score 18-16.

The Rattlers tried to kick a field goal but it was blocked leaving the Tigers some time, but they punted it on their possession giving the ball back to the Rattlers.

The Rattlers were driving down the field and tried to kick game-winning field goal but the time ran out ending the game 18-16.

The Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons talked about the penalties and mistakes they had on the field. He discussed about the last drive of the game.

“Too many self-inflicted wounds and too many penalties on our part,” Simmons said. “Obviously, poor clock management on my part, I should have let the quarterback spike it so we can kick the field goal.”

Stanley finished the game with 26 completions and 37 attempts for 340 yards and one touchdown. He talks about the game overall and his performance.

“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.”

The Rattlers will take on Savannah State at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m

Column: Three takeaways from Willie Taggart’s first win as FSU Head Coach

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)
 

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

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

Offense Not Looking Lethal

The “Lethal Simplicity” of the offense looks almost as if it’s too simple and the opposing defenses already know when what play is going to be called.  The short bubble screens are getting stopped behind the line of scrimmage because receivers can’t hold their blocks and the offensive line is looking as bad as it did last year. Having to shuffle guys in and out to find the right lineup during the game isn’t working and the penalties are piling up through the first two weeks. 

The Seminoles had two pass completions of 20-plus yards get called back by the offensive line penalties.  Despite all the hits, redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois took he still managed to have another impressive game as far as his efficiency. Francois completed 31 of his 46 pass attempts for 320-yards and three touchdowns.  Florida State is still searching for the running game, but hopefully, that will come when the offensive line can pull through and hold their blocks.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
RB Cam Akers and WR Nyqwan Murray head to the locker room before kickoff.

FSU Struggling to Run the Ball

Despite having one of the best running backs in the county and a senior leader in the backfield, the Seminoles still aren’t able to run the ball. Going into the season,  fans expected to see a lot more big run plays with the way the gulf coast offense should work.

Sophomore running back Cam Akers was projected to have big numbers and so far hasn’t been what the fans expected.  Akers carried the ball 14 times for 76 yards against the Samford Bulldogs. His longest rush of the day was 14 yards.  Senior running back Jacques Patrick carried the ball 13 times for 44 yards with a long of 13. 

The run game could be struggling due to a lack of blocking by the offensive line, which at this point should almost be expected.  The Seminoles lost a big-time running back in redshirt freshman Khalan Laborn on a kick return. Head coach Willie Taggart confirmed Laborn has a dislocated knee.

Defense Getting Walked On

The Seminoles defense was as close to absent as you can get in the first half against the Samford Bulldogs, an FCS school.   The defense gave up 341-yards in the first half and 525-yards total.  Despite the Seminoles defensive front being able to contain the Bulldogs running backs (holding them to only 50-yards rushing the entire game), the secondary was getting torched. The defensive backs could not break up a deep ball for anything. 

The Bulldogs figured out the go-to play was a lob deep down the field, and surprisingly, completed several such passes.  The first play for the Bulldogs went for a 54-yard bomb which resulted in a touchdown.  The Bulldogs had two receivers catch a ball for 50-plus yards and both receivers had over 95-yards receiving. After the loss to Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett expressed he wanted more turnovers from his defense.  His defense listened and forced five turnovers.  Sophomore nose guard Marvin Wilson forced a fumble and sophomore defensive back Cyrus Fagan recovered it.  Junior corner back Kyle Meyers had two interceptions, Senior defensive back AJ Westbrook had one interception and Junior corner back Levonta Taylor had a late pick six to seal the win for the Seminoles 36-26.

The Seminoles have their first road game of the season were they will be traveling to Syracuse to take on the Orange. Kickoff will be 12:00 P.M.

 

Willie Taggart and Noles Get First Win of The Season


Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Willie Taggart’s offense got its first touchdown of the season after 70 minutes, 57 seconds of game time. He also collected his first win as the head coach at FSU.

A 33-point favorite, Florida State didn’t lead the game until the fourth quarter in the 36-26 nailbiter win over the Samford Bulldogs at Doak Cambell Stadium on Saturday.

Taggart said the slugfest was a solid first win for his team. He acknowledged the team’s desire to play better on offense, but said he would take the wins however they come.

“Good win for the Noles,” he said. “It was good to see our guys find a way to come back and get a win after we started slow and weren’t playing as well. I thought it was a great team victory.”

Offensively, FSU continued to struggle up front. Despite only giving up one sack, Seminole quarterback Deandre Francois was hit frequently. He would finish the game 31-46 for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Cam Akers paces the Noles on the ground with 76 yards on 14 carries. In total, the team had 134 rushing yards, averaging 3.8 yards a carry.  

The Noles gave up 525 yards of total offense to the Bulldogs, including 475 through the air from senior quarterback Devlin Hodges. Hodges completed 39 of 60 passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. 

Samford scored on its first play from scrimmage on a 54-yard bomb from Hodges to senior receiver and Bradenton native, Kelvin McKnight. Cooper Cross failed to connect on the extra point attempt, leaving the score at 6-0. 

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FSU lines up late in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs would get another score in the first when senior running back Roland Adams plowed his way into the endzone from two yards out. This time Cross would convert the PAT, increasing the lead to 13-0.

The Seminoles would get their first touchdown of the season on a 27-yard hookup from quarterback Deondre Francois to wideout Tamorrion Terry to cut the Bulldogs lead to six.

Freshman kicker Mitchell Fineran added a 30-yard field goal to push the Bulldog lead to 16-7.

The Noles would trim the lead when Francois scored on an 8-yard keeper, cutting the deficit to two and bringing the score to 16-14. 

Despite Florida State’s back-to-back scores, Samford continued its onslaught with a 27-yard touchdown from Hodges to McKnight to extend the lead to 23-14. It was the pair’s second touchdown connection.

Francois would find Terry again in the second quarter on a 15-yard strike for a touchdown to cut the lead again to 23-21, where it would remain until halftime. 

Fineran’s late field goal with 7:58 left in the game gave Samford a 26-21 lead. 

 FSU would get the go-ahead touchdown with 4:03 left in the game when Francois found tight end Tre McKitty on a 5-yard pass into the endzone.  It gave the Noles a 29-26 lead, their first of the game.

McKitty said the play was designed for him and his only job was to make a play on the ball. 

“I was the first read,” McKitty said. “As soon as we left the huddle I knew the ball was coming to me.”

LeVonta Taylor returned an interception for a touchdown in the game’s final minutes to salt it away.

During a break in the game, Florida State played a video tribute for former Nole Burt Reynolds. Reynolds died on Thursday at the age of 82.

Samford will take on the Mercer Bears in their next contest. Florida State will travel to New York for a conference matchup against the Syracuse Orange in a noon kickoff on Sept. 15.

Taggart Era Kicks Off In Disappointing Fashion

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)

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

The Taggart era has officially started in front of a crowd of 75,237.  The No.19 Florida State Seminoles hosted the No.20 Virginia Tech Hokies in a season-opening conference matchup.  The Hokies beat the Seminoles 24-3.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
QB Deandre Francois lines up for another drive.

Florida State won the coin toss and differed, bringing the Hokies offense out first. The Hokies first drive was a quick walk to the end zone.  Virginia Techs redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Jackson marched the offense on the field and immediately rushed them down for a touchdown.  Jackson found  redshirt sophomore  wide receiver Damon Hazelton in the corner of the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown.

The Seminoles opening drive didn’t quite go as well as they planned.  Florida States redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois had the offense moving completing a huge third down to junior wide receiver Keith Gavin for a 24-yard completion.  Francois then tosses to  wide receiver Nyqwan Murray for an eight yard loss and a fumble.  Virginia Tech recovered the fumble and took over the 35-yard line.

Florida State’s night only got worse from there.  The Seminoles punter Logan Tyler had his punt blocked from inside the 10-yard line and returned for a touchdown for the Hokies putting them up 17-3 right before the half.

The Seminoles had 11 drives that had less than 4 plays ran before the drive stalled, five drives were 3-and-outs.  Six of those eleven drives started behind the 20-yard line. The Seminoles average field position was at the 19-yard line and the Hokies average field position was at the 44-yard line.

If Virginia Tech had a turnover chain it would have been out all night long.  The Hokies forced five turnovers against the Seminoles three of them being interceptions and two forced fumbles.  The Hokies scored 10 points off the turnovers.

The Seminoles managed to make it to the redzone four times only to come up with three points.  Florida State had an opportunity to add more points just self inflicted wounds repeatedly killed them.  Starting kicker Ricky Aquayo missed a 32-yard field goal attempt wide left and Virginia Tech forced a fumble inside the 10-yard line on third and goal.  Unnecessary penalties on the Seminoles from the offensive line to jumping offsides on defense.

To seal the victory for the Hokies Jackson finds wide receiver Eric Kumah across the middle for a 49-yard touchdown with five minutes remaining in the game to put Virginia Tech up 24-3.

 

Photo Gallery: FSU vs. Virginia Tech

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

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

 

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) –