Gray salutes QB Stanley in record-setting win
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
During almost every post-game press conference, quarterback Ryan Stanley mentioned how much encouragement he gets from Quinn Gray.
All the while, Stanley was chipping away at the career passing record that Gray had established when he was quarterback at FAMU. This past Saturday, Gray had even more praise for Stanley after he rewrote the passing record while leading the Rattlers to a 42-38 victory over South Carolina State in Orangeburg.
Stanley surpassed Gray’s 7,378 yards early in the first quarter and when he was done he had the record by 7,779 yards.
“I’m extremely happy for him,” Gray said minutes after the game that was broadcast live on radio and televised on ESPN3. “He has been at FAMU and leading the program so he deserves to be the leader in pass yards.
“He works hard. He does everything the right way. That’s what you do when you play at FAMU and when you do that it allows you to become a record holder. I broke somebody’s record and somebody is going to break my record, which he did. I’m very, very proud of him.”
Stanley isn’t done chasing Gray’s records yet. His career 54 touchdowns puts him just three shy of Gray’s 57, a record he could possibly rewrite when the Rattlers host North Carolina A&T this Saturday.
In addition, Stanley is in pursuit of Gray’s passing attempt record. He needs 49 passing attempts to become the all-time leader at FAMU.
Gray seemingly is rooting for Stanley through the chase.
“A record is just something you’re able to accomplish when you’re in school,” he said. “For me, if somebody is able and has the ability to break my record while doing something good for the school; why wouldn’t I encourage that.
“Breaking the record helps his team continue to win games and if breaking the record is going to help them win I’m going to encourage that.”
Stanley finished with 427 yards, a career high. His final pass was 19 yards to Kamari Young with 1:08 left to secure the win. It derailed the Bulldogs’ coach Buddy Pough from becoming the winning coach all-time. Willie Jefferies record of 128 seems safe at least for one more week.
The Rattlers also got their fourth straight come-from-behind win and improved to 5-1, the programs best start since the 2000 season. They also snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
“Football is 60 minutes,” said coach Willie Simmons. “Our motto is fight to finish and that’s what these guys have done for four weeks in a row.
“These guys continue to play; continue to believe. That’s the makeup of a championship football team. I’m extremely proud of them.”
The Rattlers finished with 505 yards of total offense, led by receiver David Manigo 11 catches for 136 yards. Xavier Smith had eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Markquese Bell led the defense with nine tackles, while Elijah Richardson made seven unassisted tackles in a game that marked the second consecutive time that the defense has held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing.
FAMU started the decisive drive with an 11-yard rush by Davonne Kendrick. Later Stanley found Kendrick for 18 yards catch and on the ensuring play, he connected with Young.
While Stanley led the win on Simmons’ birthday, he seemed more appreciative that the senior quarterback will leave FAMU with the school passing record as part of his legacy.
“I’m happy that Ryan has the record,” Simmons said. “He is a fighter. He is resilient. He is competitive.
“To be able to come back with the last drive and march us down the field for a touchdown was true testament to his unquestionable leadership. I’m happy he is on our side.”