Dover, DE - Florida A&M recorded their ninth win against Delaware State in Dover, Del., as the Rattlers pulled out a 24-22 win over the Hornets on Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.
The Rattlers are now 9-2 against the Hornets at Alumni Stadium.
FAMU raises their record to 2-2 and 2-0 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play, while DSU lowers their record to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
In a penalty stricken game, both teams finished with a combined 21 penalties. FAMU finished with 12 penalties for 95 yards, while DSU finished with seven penalties for 50 yards.
On their first drive of the game, Delaware State would go 66 yards on six plays, taking 3:28 off the clock as Dae-Hon Cheung scored from 10 yards out with 11:32 to go in the first quarter. It gave the Hornets a 7-0 lead, after the Mitchell Ward PAT.
The Rattlers would answer right back as James Owens scored on a eight-yard TD reception from Damien Fleming, capping a five-play, 68 yard drive, taking just 2:20 off the clock. It tied the game at 7-7, after the Chase Varnadore PAT, with 9:06 left in the quarter.
Mitchell Ward broke the 7-7 tie as he connected on a 29-yard field goal at the 11:46 mark of the second quarter, capping a nine-play, 63-yard drive, and just taking 3:28 off the clock. It gave the Hornets a 10-7 lead.
FAMU would regain the lead as Fleming tossed his second TD pass of the game as Travey Harvey came down with the reception in the back of the end zone with 7:38 left in the half. It capped a seven-play, 54-yard drive, taking 3:52 off the clock, giving the Rattlers a 14-10 lead after the Varnadore PAT, to end the first half scoring.
A roughing-the-punter penalty by Delaware State extended a FAMU drive late in the third quarter as Harvey caught his second TD reception of the game from nine yards out from Fleming, with 4:12 remaining in the third. It capped a 10-play, 76-yard drive, taking a 4:46 off the clock, extending the Rattlers’ lead to 21-10.
On their very next possession, the Hornets would strike back as they would go 67 yards on nine plays, as Cheung would score his second TD of the game from 22 yard out. DSU would go for two and the Nick Elko pass was batted down by FAMU’s Brandon Davis, making the score 21-16 in favor of the Rattlers with 16 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Varnadore would nail his first field goal of the game from 29 yards out increasing the Rattlers’ lead to 24-16 with 10:34 to go in the game.
DSU would score with 6:39 left in the game on a five-yard run by Najee Jackson, but the Hornets would miss their second two-point conversion of the game, making the score 24-22 in favor of FAMU for the final.
Fleming finished the contest recording a career-high 399 yards passing as he completed 30 passes in 37 attempts with three TDs.
Harvey recorded his second 100 plus game in receiving as he recorded 122 yards on 11 receptions with two TDs.
Elko led the Hornets’ passing attack as he connected on 15 passes in 21 attempts for 194 yards, where as Dae-Hon Cheung recorded a season high 135 yards on 18 carries with two TDs.
Travis Tarpley led DSU’s receiving corp as he recorded a team high 129 yards on 10 catches.
DSU’s Davon Moore, led the Hornets in tackles as he recorded a game high 14 tackles with eight of them being solos.
Eddie Rocker led the Rattlers ground attack as he rushed for 46 yards on 14 carries.
Brandon Hepburn led the Rattler defense as he tallied eight tackles with five solos.
Harvey recorded his fourth consecutive game, where he recorded at least one TD reception in a game. He had a 13-yard reception for TD against Tennessee State, a 75-yard scamper for TD against Oklahoma, an 18-yard reception against Hampton last week and recorded two TD receptions against Delaware State as he caught a TD reception from 21 yards and nine yards out.
This is FAMU head coach Joe Taylor’s 15th career win against Delaware State. The win makes Taylor, 15-4 lifetime against Delaware State.
In the last three meetings, both teams scored no more than 21 points as the Rattlers defeated the Hornets, 21-12 in 2011, 17-14 in 2010 and 21-12 in 2009. The last time these two teams scored four or more TDs in a game is when DSU defeated the Rattlers, 35-28 in overtime, here at Alumni Stadium in a Thursday night special broadcasted live on ESPNU.
Up next for FAMU will be Southern University as the Rattlers will travel to Atlanta, Ga., to take on the Jaguars in the annual Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic at the Atlanta Georgia Dome, in a 3:30 p.m. kick.