Courtesy of Germaine Bozeman , Florida A&M Athletics
Rattlers return to Bragg for more as they continue their home game winning streak to 13 by defeating the Mississippi Valley Delta Devils 34-7.
“Defense played extremely well, special teams did some really good things,” said head coach Willie Simmons. “Offensively, we struggled, didn’t take advantage of a lot of situations. I really challenged the guys at halftime to be the offense that we are capable of being.”
With a fast-paced start, Rattlers’ own Xavier Smith was able to seal the first touchdown of the game within the first five minutes of the first quarter. After making clutch defensive plays, the Rattlers could not stop Mississippi Valley’s Cobie Bates’s 83-yard touchdown reception tying the game 7-7.
Later in the second quarter, running back Terrell Jennings helped the Rattlers snatch back the lead by rushing for a one-yard touchdown. This confidence-boosting play resulted in the Delta Devils not scoring a single touchdown for the remainder of the game.
Now it’s all about the Rattlers! Running back Jaylen McCloud rushed for a seven-yard touchdown late in the third quarter giving Florida A&M a 14-point lead. Defensively, playmaker Isaiah Land came through with a clutch fumble recovery granting the Rattlers another chance to move the ball around on offense. A field goal made by Jose Romo-Martinez in the last three seconds extended the lead for the Rattlers ending the quarter 24-7.
The defense remained persistent, with a show-stopping hit by Kortney Cox, sack-fumble by Kamari Stephens, and the second fumble recovery of the game for the Rattlers prepared the Rattlers to excel offensively.
The Rattlers take the victory after Xavier Smith’s nine-yard touchdown reception and Jose Romo-Martinez 37 yard field goal finalizing the score 34-7.
Xavier Smith Touchdown Streak Continues
Xavier Smith got two touchdowns in the 34-7 win. He has now scored a touchdown in three straight games. Smith’s six touchdowns this season have surpassed his total number of touchdowns from last season.
Post-Game Press Conference
The Rattlers will be traveling to Orangeburg, South Carolina, to play the South Carolina State Bulldogs on October 8 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.