The Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Rattlers played host to the Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical University Panthers for homecoming this past weekend. The Rattlers came out focused and firing on all cylinders in front of a sold out crowd at Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
The Rattlers came out “Striking” from the start. FAMU got on the scoreboard first with a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Terrell Jennings, followed by a 36-yard touchdown strike from Jeremy Moussa to Nicholas Dixon to give them a 14 point lead at the end of the first quarter.
After a slower start to the second quarter, and 21-yard touchdown pass from Panthers’ quarterback Trazon Connley to Tre’jon Spiller to bring the score to 14-7, the Rattlers responded with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Moussa to Jeremiah Pruitte with seconds remaining in the half.
The Rattlers went into halftime with a solid 21-7 lead over the Panthers.
As expected, the Marching 100 wowed the crowd during the halftime performance with precision and execution, and the players and coaching staff carried that same energy into the second half. It started with a 52-yard pitch and catch for a touchdown to Jah’Marae Sheread from Moussa for his third touchdown pass of the game. Kicker, Cameron Gillis added a 27-yard field goal to extend FAMU’s lead to 31-7 before heading into the fourth quarter.
For the fans that had begun leaving the game to prepare for many other homecoming festivities, the Rattlers didn’t slow down in the fourth quarter.
Running Back Kelvin Dean added a 6-yard touchdown run to add to the tally. The Rattler defense dominated throughout the game, holding the Panthers scoreless throughout the entire second half. FAMU defender Tevin Griffey, son of Major League Baseball great Ken Griffey Jr., apparently got jealous of all the points the offense were scoring that he decided to join in on the fun with his own 21-yard interception return for a touchdown just before the game ended.
In the Rattlers’ 45-7 rout of the Panthers, Jaquez Yant led all rushers with 9 carries for 63 yards and Jah’Marae Sheread led all receivers with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jeremy Moussa, as he appeared to ‘Strike, Strike, and Strike Again,’ finished the game impressively completing 14 of his 25 pass attempts with 272 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and an interception.
With this huge win on homecoming, the Rattlers have now clinched the SWAC East title for the first time since joining the conference. That earns them a first ever bid to the SWAC championship game on December 2, which will be aired at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
This win also extends their home winning streak to 18 games, the second longest behind Montana State’s 24 games.
This will be Head Coach Willie Simmons’ first divisional title as a head coach, ironically earned against the same Prairie View A&M program that gave home his first head coaching job, where he coached from 2014-2017.
The Rattlers have three games remaining in the regular season, including one more home game. They travel to Huntsville, Alabama this Saturday to take on the Alabama A&M Bulldogs at 2 p.m.
The game will be televised on ESPN+.
Chris Daniels – Gadsden County News Service