By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 28, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -– The Florida A&M Rattler Football team rode a stalwart defensive effort, and a balanced offensive attack to a breezy 29-7 nationally-televised season-opening victory over the visiting Texas Southern Tigers in Bragg Memorial Stadium.
Saturday’s contest, which aired live on ESPNU, was all FAMU throughout, as the Rattlers forged a 29-0 lead through three quarters in a totally dominant performance.
The Rattlers’ GanGreen Defense set the tone, not allowing the Tigers (0-1) to cross midfield until the fourth quarter, when FAMU had a four score lead, limiting the Houston crew to just 62 yards rushing (on 18 tries), and 140 yards through the air.
TSU quarterback Jay Christophe was sacked three times, and managed to complete just 12 of 39 pass attempts, with one interception, and a 30-yard touchdown pass to Darvin Kirby with 14:16 left in the game. He was the Tigers’ top rusher with 29 yards on 10 carries.
Meanwhile, transfer Jalene Douse led the Rattler defenders with seven solo tackles Saturday, followed by senior linebacker Jakaris Wilson and senior tackle Emilio Gibbs with four tackles each, and senior cornerback Jules Dornevil, who finished with three solo stops and a driving-killing interception the end zone. Tackle David Richardson also had three tackles and one-and-a-half quarterback sacks.
FAMU’s Offense rolled up 415 total yards, rushing for 193 yards on 42 attempts, while two quarterbacks – starter Ryan Stanley, and the number two man, Vincent Jeffries – combined for 222 yards through the air.
Redshirt freshnman Ricky Henrilus led the FAMU ground game with 81 yards on 14 carries, while junior Devin Bowers ran for 41 yards on 15 tries, with one TD.
Stanley got most of the time under center at quarterback Saturday, rushing for 21 yards on three carries and a touchdown, while passing for 217 yards (hitting 19 of 32 aerials) for one score. Jeffries rushed for 12 yards and a TD, plus went one-for-six passing for five yards.
Senior Brandon Norwood led the Rattlers with five catches for 63 yards, and a 35-yard touchdown catch from Stanley. Marcus Williams added 51 yards on three catches, followed by Kareem Smith (3 for 38 yards), Elijah Jones (3 for 24 yards) and Chad Hunter (2 for 11 yards).