Rattler Comeback Falls Short in 21-16 Loss TO BCU

By Florida A&M Sports Information

ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov.17) – The 2012 Florida Blue Florida Classic ended in dramatic fashion as Bethune-Cookman defeated the Florida A&M Football team, 21-16 here Saturday afternoon at the Florida Citrus Bowl.In the contest Damien Fleming became the first FAMU quarterback to pass for 2,000 yards in eight seasons as he completed 18-of-23 passes in 166 yards as he finished the season with 2,157 yards.  The last FAMU quarterback was Ben Dougherty as he finished the season with 2,596 yards passing. The Florida Classic MVP for the Rattlers, Fleming felt the Rattlers just didn’t put all parts together when needed. “Some plays we hit on and some we missed on. That kind of was the difference. When you have a play there, you have to make it in this type of game and we just came up short today,” Fleming said.

FAMU scored the first three points of the game as Chase Varnadore connected on a 20-yard field goal with 10:04 to go in the first, capping a nine-play, 55-yard drive for the Rattlers, giving FAMU a 3-0 lead.

B-CU would close out the first quarter with a TD as Quentin Williams connected with Eddie Poole from one-yard out, to take a 7-3 lead, after the Sven Hurd PAT with 1:09 to go in the first, capping an 11-play, 94-yard drive by the Wildcats.

The Rattlers would go into the break with a 10-7 lead as James Owens scored from 41 yards out with 4:22 to go in the game, after the Varnadore PAT, capping a seven-play, 97-yard drive by FAMU.

Acting head coach Earl Holmes was attempting to lead the Rattlers to a 2-0 mark since taking over last week from retired head coach Joe Taylor, but untimely errors cost the Rattlers big. “I thought we sustained good drives today, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to find a way to put the ball in the end zone. At times we had momentum on our side and then we’d get a penalty to kill that momentum. We’ve got to learn from that and how not to beat yourself,” Holmes said.

B-CU would attempt to tie the game on a 36-yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half, but FAMU would come up big with a blocked field goal attempt by Devan Roberts.

The Wildcats would retake the lead as Isidore Jackson took a fourth and three, 34 yards for TD with 3:13 left in the third quarter, capping a four-play, 41yard drive, by B-CU, giving them a 14-10 lead after the Hurd PAT. Five minutes later, B-CU would increase their lead to 21-10 after the Hurd PAT as Andronicus Lovette would score one-yard out with 11:30 left in the game, capping a 10-play, 74-yard drive by the Wildcats.

On their next drive, the Rattlers would go 61 yards on seven-play to cut B-CU’s lead to 21-16 for the final as Fleming found Dewayne Harvey in the end zone for a 37-yard TDs pass with 8:04 to go in the game.   The PAT attempt by Varnadore would be blocked by Dawud Lane.

FAMU was led by Eddie Rocker as he rushed for 69 yards on 17 carries with his longest rush being for 15-yards, while Owens finished the game with 58 yards on seven carries with one TD.

Lenworth Lennon led the Rattlers in receptions with six for 41 yards receiving, while Dewayne Harvey tallied 50 yards on three catches with one TD.

FAMU was led by Jonathan Pillow as he tallied a team high eight tackles with six of them being solos, behind him was Brandon Denmark with seven total take downs.

B-CU was led by Williams as he rushed for 86 yards on 15 carries with his longest rush being for 51 yards and passed for 120 yards as he completed 12 passes in 18 attempts.  Jackson was the Wildcats second leading rusher as he rushed 77 yards on 13 carries with one TD.

Poole led the B-CU receivers as he recorded five catches for 33 yards with one TD, while Jackson was the Wildcats second leading receiver with 41 yards on three receptions.

Jarkevis Fields led the B-CU defense with 11 tackles as he finished with eight solo tackles, and two tackles for loss.  Behind him was Harold Love with six tackles.

With the loss, FAMU drops their record to 4-7 and 4-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, while B-CU raises their record to 9-2 and 8-0 in conference play.  This is the first time, the Wildcats went undefeated in conference play since 1984, when B-CU finished the season a perfect 4-0 in conference play.

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