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FAMU defensive back Jonathan Pillow tackles SCSU QB Richard Cue.
FAMU defensive back Jonathan Pillow tackles SCSU QB Richard Cue.
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Courtesy: Florida A&M Sports Information
Rattlers Falter In 27-20 Overtime Loss To SC State
By: Florida A&M Sports Information  
TALLAHASSEE, FL (Oct.20) - The Florida A&M Rattlers (3-5, 3-2 MEAC) managed to tie the South Carolina State Bulldogs (3-5, 2-3 MEAC), with a spectacular 42-yard touchdown by James Owens with 2:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, but was unable to score in overtime, leading to a 27-20 loss at Bragg Memorial Stadiumin the 4th Annual Prince Hall Shriners Foundation Diabetes Classic.

The Rattlers were led on offense by Owens, who gained 174 all-purpose yards, with 88 of those coming through the air. FAMU quarterback Damien Fleming threw for 154 yards on 19-for-29 passing. Fleming left the game with an unspecified injury and was relieved by Tyler Bass. Bass generated the come-from-behind touchdown, connecting with Owens who scampered across the field for the 42-yard score.

SCSU running back Jalen Simmons had a career day, gaining 144 yards on 24 carries, including the game-winning seven-yard touchdown in overtime. Simmons would earn the Most Valuable Player award in the Fourth Annual Prince Hall Shriners Diabetes Classic. As a team the Bulldogs rushed for 197 yards and passed for 113, resulting in 310 yards of total offense.

Defensively, Devan Roberts led the Rattlers with 11 tackles, including nine solo tackles. Brandon Hepburn collected nine total tackles with seven solos. Michael Ducree chipped in with six solo tackles.

For the Bulldogs, Cortney Ingram collected eight total tackles, with six solos, while Justin Hughes carded five solo tackles.

The Bulldogs would score first as Julius Pendergrass punched in on a one-yard run with 9:47 remaining in the first quarter. SCSU led 7-0 after the Nick Belcher PAT.

The Rattlers responded to close out the first half with a 25-yard touchdown strike from Fleming to Admasen Felix, capping a seven-play, 60-yard drive, tying the game at 7-7 after the Chase Varnadore PAT, with 46 seconds left in the first half.

SCSU quarterback Richard Cue scampered seven yards to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead after the Belcher PAT with 12:31 remaining in the third quarter on their first possession of the second half. Belcher would add a 38-yard field goal to put the Bulldogs us 17-7 with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter.

FAMU receiver Lenworth Lennon found the corner of the endzone on the receiving end of a Fleming pass to bring the Rattlers to 17-13, as the PAT was blocked by SCSU's Chris Hill. Belcher would connect on a 47-yard field goal to take a 20-13 lead. Owens' score would knot the game up, as the Bulldogs ran out the clock in regulation.

In overtime, Simmons would score the eventual game winner, taking a 27-20 lead after the Belcher kick. Bass would attempt, to no avail, to guide the Rattlers to a score, ending in the 27-20 loss. The Rattlers will observe an idle week, as the Bulldogs will host the Howard Bison for homecoming on Oct.27. The Rattlers return to action on Nov.3 as they face the Aggies of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, NC.

Notes: Fleming extends his streak to 15-games as he has thrown a TD pass in the last 15 games, that he has played in.



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