Courtesy of Florida A&M Athletics
MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Florida A&M football showed their fight in Montgomery, defeating the Alabama State Hornets 21-14 despite three turnovers in the red zone.
“The message to the guys after the game was if we can learn to keep that same fight that we showed tonight, then we’re going to be successful in life,” said Head Coach Willie Simmons. “That’s really what it’s all about. Every day ain’t perfect, and every game ain’t perfect. We played as poorly as we could play at times, but we found a way to get it done.
“We fought when adversity was against us when the chips were down. We didn’t get calls. When we thought the game was over, you know, when we stopped them the first time, our guys kept fighting. When we got down for them to kick the game-winning field goal, we kept fighting, and that’s the sign of a championship football team. That’s the sign of championship individuals, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Dark Cloud Defense Dominates in Win
The Dark Cloud Defense dominated the Hornets’ offense, holding them to only 138 yards of total offense (14 rushing and 124 passing) and allowed only one defensive touchdown. The Rattlers’ defense lived in the offensive backfield, finishing with a season-high 13 tackles for loss and six sacks.
The Rattlers’ defense also forced one turnover as Gentle Hunt forced a fumble and recovered the same fumble.
Jones, Land, and Hunt Dominate Hornets O-Line
Dre Jones had the best game of the season, finishing with four tackles for loss, three sacks, and forcing a fumble. Isaiah Landcontinued to do Isaiah Land things, finishing with five tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, and a safety. Gentle Hunt could not be tamed either, finishing with five tackles, two tackles for loss, forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Clutch Go-Ahead Touchdown
Jeremy Moussa connected with Jah’Marae Sheread for a clutch go-ahead 17-yard touchdown as Sheread caught it at the two and forced his way into the end zone.
Xavier Smith Shines….Again
Xavier Smith continues to show that he’s one of the best receivers in the nation with another outstanding performance, finishing with 13 receptions for a season-high 145 yards and one touchdown.
Smith currently has 82 receptions for 948 yards and ten touchdowns.
Special Teams Ups and Downs
The Rattlers’ special teams had their share of ups and downs tonight as the downs included Jose Romo-Martinezuncharacteristically missing all three field goals and the punt team giving up a blocked punt, which Alabama State took a fourth-quarter lead off of.
The Rattlers’ special teams had a major up on the final play of the game when Alabama State lined up to kick a potential game-winning 53-yard field goal and blocked the field goal to score a 51-yard touchdown.
Offensive Red Zone Struggles
The Rattlers’ offense moved the ball throughout the game, finishing with 384 yards (277 passing and 107 rushing), but struggled in the red zone, only converting 2 of 6 trips into points and throwing three interceptions.