Stanley completes rewriting FAMU records in win over DSU

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer

About 30 minutes after Ryan Stanley had completed his assault on passing and scoring records set by Quinn Gray, the senior quarterback was asked where the game ball was last Saturday night.

“That is a good question,” Stanley said. “That is a good question Dang. It had a marking and all. I hope someone got it.”

Having to come up with a response was the one time that Stanley, who sat out a week earlier with a throwing arm injury, seemed uncomfortable. Throughout most of the night when the Rattlers were working to a 52-30 victory over Delaware State, the 7,414 fans at Bragg Stadium witnessed the Stanley-to-Xavier Smith show.

Receiver Xavier Smith had four touchdown catches last Saturday to set a single game record at FAMU.
Photo courtesy FAMU athletics

Stanley and back-up Rasean Mckay also found four other receivers to combine for 304 yards. The win gives FAMU an 8-1 record, 6-0 in the MEAC. DSU fell to 1-8, 0-6.

Stanley started the game needing only to throw one touchdown to tie the record. He did that with 5:35 left in the first quarter after being unable to generate much offense on the Rattlers’ opening possession.

Stanley took the Rattlers 54 yards on nine plays, finding Azende Rey for a four-yard pass to tie the record and give FAMU an early 7-0 lead following the PAT. The next three FAMU scores, including the record-setting 25-yard scoring pass, were all Stanley to Smith.

Fifteen of the 64 yards that Stanley drove the Rattlers for their second touchdown came on a penalty against the Hornets.

“It’s just a blessing,” Stanley said of rewriting the school’s record books. “All glory to God.”

Stanley completed 15 of 25 pass attempts for 253 yards and four touchdowns, giving him the career marks for pass attempts at 1,114, completions (675), passing yardage (8,252) and touchdown passes (60).

The career yard total left Stanley in second in MEAC history behind Ted White, who passed for over 9,200 yards when he played at Howard.

“It feels good but I don’t think it has really set in how big it is,” said Stanley, who endured losing most of his career at FAMU before coach Willie Simmons. “I just want to go out and win every weekend with my guys.”

His go-to guy on Saturday was Smith. He made nine catches for 184 yards. None was as big as the second one, which gave Stanley the TD passing record.

Ryan Stanley

“He just makes the catches easy for me the way he throws the ball,” Smith said. “It’s a blessing to have been on the other end and be the one to catch that record-breaking pass.”

Smith actually set a record of his own with his four catches for touchdowns. He set a single game mark that put him ahead of Cainon Lamb, Jacquay Nunnally and Ray Alexander, all former All-Americans at FAMU.

Apart from all of the record setting, the Rattlers had 465 yards of total offense compared to 289 for the Hornets.

“It was about time for the offense to have a real breakout game,” Simmons said afterward.

The Rattlers couldn’t totally rid themselves of the Hornets, though. They rallied for 20-third quarter points, including a fumble recovery that Jahad Niebauer took back 26 yards for a touchdown to cut FAMU’s lead, 31-16, with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Hornets ran the ball six times in the quarter for 104 yards, including two carries for touchdowns.

“I thought they did a really good job establishing the run against us,” Simmons said. “We haven’t really given up rushes like that since the first game of the season. But we buckled down and did everything we needed to.”