Rattlers give Simmons second win over Spartans
By FAMU Athletics
Special to the Outlook
NORFOLK, Va. – It took some doing on the part of the FAMU football team, but it was enough to help coach Willie Simmons keep his perfect record against Norfolk State intact with a 30-28 win by the Rattlers.
The Saturday afternoon win gives Simmons a 2-0 record against the Spartans. It also moved quarterback Ryan Stanley closer to the school’s all time passing record.
Stanley completed 27 of 37 for 293 yards to improve his career total to 7,046.
Stanley needs 332 yards to tie the FAMU record-holder Quinn Gray (7,378 yards). Stanley, who threw for a touchdown against NSU, also needs 13 touchdown passes to become the FAMU all-time leader.
Stanley will have a chance to tie Gray’s record on Saturday when the Rattlers face North Carolina Central in their homecoming game at Bragg Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Norfolk State (1-4 overall, 0-1 MEAC) took the opening kickoff at William “Dick” Price Stadium and marched 74 yards in 11 plays as Kevin Johnson scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 7-0 advantage with 9:48 remaining in the first quarter.
FAMU (3-1, 1-0) answered the Spartan opening drive as the Rattlers went 75 yards in six plays to tie the game at 7.
FAMU running back Bishop Bonnett accounted for 35 yards and Ryan Stanley completed a third-and-10 for a 40-yard touchdown strike as David Manigo caught the ball and carried three NSU players into the end zone with 8:09 left in the opening quarter.
The Spartans used a 13-play, 83-yard drive, capped by a Gerald Hulett 2-yard touchdown run to break the 7-7 tie and give Norfolk State a 14-7 lead with just under eight minutes left in the first half.
The Rattlers answered the NSU scoring driving with a nine-play, 75-yard drive as Terrell Jennings scored on a 6-yard run, tying the game at 14 with 4:18 remaining in the second.
After a defensive stop, the Rattlers got the ball at their own 39 and went 49 yards in 11 plays as Yahia Aly booted a 30-yard field goal to give the Rattlers their first lead of the afternoon, 17-14, with 18 seconds left in the first half.
The Rattlers got the ball to open the second half as the drive stalled at the NSU 34. Aly added to the FAMU lead with a 52-yard field goal to extend the advantage to 20-14 with 11:30 remaining in the third.
Back came the Spartans as Norfolk State drove 73 yards in eight plays, capped by a Johnson 36-yard touchdown run, giving NSU a slim 21-20 lead with 7:16 left.
FAMU answered the scoring drive with an 11-play, 56-yard drive as Aly booted his third field goal of the day, a 37-yarder – to give the Rattlers a 23-21 advantage with 1:33 remaining in the third.
FAMU finally got some distance late in the fourth quarter as Cortez Reid picked off NSU quarterback Juwan Carter and the Rattlers turned the interception into seven points.
On fourth down from the NSU 6, Jennings busted up the middle for the touchdown, which gave the Rattlers a 30-21 lead with 4:16 remaining.
That was enough time for Norfolk State to score one more time. Carter found Anthony Williams for a 26-yard touchdown with 1:08 left.
The Spartans attempted an onsides kick, but the ball rolled out of bounds and the Rattlers were able to run out the clock.