Freshman QB McKay carries FAMU to seventh win
By FAMU athletics
BALTIMORE – Even with a freshman quarterback making his first collegiate start under center, FAMU didn’t need any late-game heroics on Saturday afternoon as the Rattlers extended their win streak to seven with a 24-12 victory over Morgan State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game at Hughes Stadium.
FAMU entered the game ranked No. 20 in the nation.
On a cool dreary day, Rasean McKay started in replace of Ryan Stanley at quarterback and the redshirt freshman went 25 of 35 passing, with one touchdown and one interception. He completed passes to six different receivers as the Rattlers picked up the road victory.
After both teams traded punts to begin the game, Morgan State got on the boards when E’Munn Parker caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from DeAndre Harris to give the Bears a 7-0 lead with 9:21 left in the opening quarter.
FAMU (7-1 overall, 5-0 MEAC) responded with a 10-play, 70-yard drive as McKay completed a third-and 13 to Xavier Smith for a first down. Two plays later, Davonne Kendrick scored on a 3-yard run, tying the game at 7 with 5:26 remaining in the first quarter.
After a big defensive stop on fourth down, the Rattlers marched 33 yards in seven plays as Yahia Aly booted a 50-yard field goal to give FAMU a 10-7 lead just four seconds into the second quarter.
Florida A&M’s defense accounted for its next touchdown.
With the Bears moving into FAMU territory, Bob Jonjo was hit hard by Eric Smith and Terry Jefferson picked up the loose ball at the 50 and run down the left sideline for the score. That gave the Rattlers a 17-7 advantage with 12:26 remaining in the first half.
Morgan State (1-7, 1-4) took advantage of a McKay interception as the Bears went 29 yards in 10 plays as Nicholas O’Shea booted a 22-yard field goal to close the gap to 17-10 with 3:13 left.
The Rattlers answered the MSU scoring drive with an eight-play, 72-yard drive, giving FAMU a 24-10 lead with 33 seconds remaining in the quarter.
During the drive, Smith rushed 17 yards as he received the ball going to his left, then cut back and reversed field and turning what would have been negative yardage into positive yards for a first down. FAMU capped the drive five plays later as McKay tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Jennings as the Rattlers extended the advantage to 24-10 with 33 seconds left in the quarter.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Rattlers were forced to punt, and Chris Faddoul’s kick was blocked as the ball rolled out of the back of the end zone with Morgan State cutting the deficit to 24-12 with 14:50 remaining.
The Rattlers come home on Saturday to face Delaware State at Bragg Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. It’s the first meeting between the two teams since 2016 when FAMU won 41-27.