ORLANDO, Fla.– Florida A&M football had a third-quarter to remember outscoring the Wildcats 30-0 to help give the Rattlers a 46-21 win in the Florida Classic.
“Obviously we’ve all endured nine tough years and (it’s) something that as a football team we have endured but also as a fan base, as alum, as an administration. So this football team really felt upon ourselves to come out here and take care of business,” said Head Coach Willie Simmons.
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Again, we finished the regular season 9-2, on an eight-game winning streak, and if the playoff committee doesn’t feel like we’re one of the top 24 teams in America, then we need to look at the system and figure out what’s wrong with it because it’s obviously broken if we don’t get in.”
The defense did not start off the way they would have liked allowing an 82-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, but they showed why they’re the best defense in the nation after that. The Rattlers held the Wildcats to only 59 yards the remainder of the half after that touchdown.
The defense in the third quarter had a quarter to remember forcing three turnovers the last two minutes of the quarter, two of them scored by the defense. BJ Bohler forced a fumble, recovered it, and returned it for a touchdown. Markquese Bell picked up his first interception of the game, which turned into a Bishop Bonnett 38-yard touchdown run the next play. Then, Markquese Bell forced a fumble, and the big man Gentle Hunt scooped it and went 46-yards for a touchdown.
The Rattlers held the Wildcats to only four yards in the second quarter and 42 yards in the third quarter.
The defense added four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
BJ Bohler put on a show in front of his hometown friends and family as he was named the Florida Classic MVP. Bohler finished the game with four tackles, an interception, a pass breakup, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown.
The defense did their job of forcing turnovers (and sometimes scoring, too), but the offense helped ensure the defense’s efforts were rewarded as they scored on the next play after each turnover.
Xavier Smith scored a 48-yard touchdown after BJ Bohler’s interception in the first quarter, and Bonnett had his rushing touchdown.
The nation’s leading sacker added to his total after back-to-back sacks in the first half. Land now has 19 sacks on the season.
The Rattlers ran all over the Wildcats, running for a season-high 276-yards. Bishop Bonnett led the way with 128-yards, followed by McCloud with 77 and Jennings with 68.
Courtesy: Florida A&M Athletics