TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 14) - The unbeaten North Carolina A&T Aggies rode a 21-point second period surge to a 31-20 win over the homestanding Florida A&M Rattlers at Homecoming in Bragg Memorial Stadium here Saturday afternoon.
A near-sellout crowd of 25,067 fans packed the venerable stadium for the 130th Homecoming at FAMU, and early on, it looked like the Rattlers (2-5, 1-3 MEAC) would more than compete against the Aggies (7-0,, 4-0 MEAC), as the two clubs played to a 7-7 draw after the first periof.
A&T drew first blood with 9:15 left in the quarter when Marquell Cartwright powered in from a yard out for a 7-0 Aggie lea
FAMU answered with a 55-yard, six play drive, capped by a 12-yard run by Devin Bowers with 6:26 left, tying the game, 7-7.
In the second quarter, the game turned in the Aggies' favor, as quarterback Lamar Raynard tossed a trio of scoring passes - 14 yards each to Jamari Smith and Xavier Griffin, and four yards to Elijah Bell, giving the visiting team a 28-7 halftime cushion.
Bowers pounded in from a yard out with 13:47 left in the third to slice the Aggie lead to 28-14, but A&T's Noel Ruiz booted a 22-yard fielder with 11:00 left in the third, making the score 31-14.
Ryan Stanley combined with Kareem Smith on a 38-yard TD pass play with 7:06 left in the game to account for the game's final points.
Bowers led the Rattler with 100 yards on 12 carries and two TDs, while Stanley had a tough day under center, passing for 167 yards on 14 of 24 passing, with one score and two interceptions. Kareem Smith (48 yards, one score) and Chad Hunter (29 yards) tied for the club lead in receptions with three each.
Linebacker Jakaris Wilson led the Rattler Defense with nine tackles, while Terry Jefferson and Jules Dornevil each had an interception.
A&T's Marquell Cartwright led the Aggies with 84 yards on 26 carries, while QB Lamar Raynard tossed three touchdowns, accounting for 215 air yrds on 20 of 32 passing Saturday. Elijah Bell finished the day with six catches for 53 yards.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Rattlers will hit the road for a 1:00 p.m. Homecoming bout at Hampton University next Saturday at Armstrong Stadium in Hampton, Va.