DURHAM, NC – Hurricane Matthew was the one imposing figure in Saturday’s game, but the North Carolina Central Eagles (4-2, 3-0 MEAC) took advantage of two touchdowns in the fourth quarter surge past the Rattlers (1-5, 1-2 MEAC) for a 17-13 final at O’kelly-Roddick Stadium on the campus of NCCU.
The Rattlers started the scoring as defensive end Calvin Danville collared an Eagle runner in the end zone for a sack in the first quarter. Kicker/Punter Colby Blanton would tack on a 34-yard field goal to make the score 5-0. The only additional score int he first half would be a 33-yard field goal by NCCU kicker Brandon McLaren.
Both teams would go scoreless in a defensive battle in the third quarter. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B00Z092UEK” locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]
In the fourth quarter, NCCU quarterback Malcolm Bell hit LaVontis Smith on a 42-yard pass that would be good for an Eagle touchdown. NCCU would take a 10-5 lead on the Rattlers. But, it wouldn’t last for long as Devin Bowers would scamper 18 yards for a FAMU touchdown. The Rattlers opted for a two-point conversion try and Ryan Stanley connected with Brandon Norwood in the back of the end zone to take a 13-10 lead over NCCU. With 4:54 remaining, Dorrell Macron’s 25-yard touchdown would seal the game at 17-13.
Stanley took every snap for the Rattlers, going 3-of-14 for 39 yards passing. With wind gusts topping 30 mph as a result of hurricane Matthew, passing yards were at a premium. Bowers, in his first game back since week two of the season, gained 67 yards on 24 carries.
The Rattler defense was led by Jakaris Wilson who garnered eight tackles, with three solos and five assists. Jacques Bryant, Adarius Smith and Danville rounding up seven tackles each. Danville led all defenders with six solo tackles, including the safety that provided the first score of the game.
Blanton, using the rugby-style punt, carded a 77-yarder en route to a 46.7 yards-per-punt average. he downed two kicks inside the 20-yard line and collected two touchbacks.
What’s next: The Rattlers travel to Dover, Delaware to take on the Hornets of Delaware State on Sat., Oct.15 for DSU’s homecoming.
Courtesy: FAMU Athletics