Arena Sportsnet

Rattlers Can’t Escape Early Hole

Tallahassee, FL – It was a Thursday night showdown in Tallahassee.   It was also a measuring stick game for the FAMU Rattlers.

Unfortunately, they didn’t measure up enough.

Despite having plenty of chances to steal this game from the three-time defending MEAC Champs, the Rattlers fell to the North Carolina Central Eagles 21-14 on Thursday night.   With the win, the Eagles move to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in MEAC play and the Rattlers fall to 2-3 and 1-1 in conference play.

The start of the game set the tone for the Eagles as Chauncey Caldwell opened the scoring with an 18-yard touchdown run.  That play capped off a 56 yard drive in 6 plays and gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 5:18 left in the opening stanza.

The Eagles struck quickly on the ensuing FAMU possession as Davanta Reynolds picked off Rattlers quarterback Devin Bowers and raced 31 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 NCCU lead in the first period.

FAMU responded in the second quarter as Bowers ran it in from a yard out and cut the lead in half at 14-7 with 10:27 left until halftime.  The Rattlers then evened the score as Bowers hit Kevin Newman with a 3-yard touchdown pass and a new game at 14 at the break.

It was a defensive struggle for the remainder of the game and no one blinked until 2:02 remained in regulation when Isaiah Totten rushed in from 9 yards out to give the Eagles the clinching score.

The Rattlers outgained the Eagles 258-241, but part of the game was lost on third down conversions as NCCU was 5-15 while FAMU was only 2-14.  Each team converted one fourth down conversion.

Florida A&M now has ten days to reset before they hit the road to Norfolk, VA to take on the Norfolk State Spartans while North Carolina Central travels to the Nation’s capital to face the Howard Bison.