Florida A&M start season with win, while Marching 100 make return

ORLANDO — The Florida A&M (FAMU) Marching 100 made their long awaited return on Sunday, while the FAMU Rattlers defeated the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 27-10 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in front of an announced crowd of 24,376 at the Citrus Bowl.

On the day the the Marching 100 made their return to the field after a two-year suspension the Rattlers football team was able to come away with the win in their second appearance in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.

FAMU started the scoring in the first quarter when Damien Fleming gave the Rattlers an early 7-0 lead over the Delta Devils when he rushed 6-yards for a touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

“He is the best quarterback in the state of Florida,” said FAMU head coach Earl Holmes about Fleming. “And there’s a lot of pressure on him, but at the same time he embraces it, he embraced the moment, he’s very poised in the pocket.

“We understand what we have in Damien,” added Holmes after the game. “No slap to the guy behind him, it’s just that Damien has set the standard so high that anybody comes behind him you’ll see a tremendous drop off.”

Fleming finished the game 8-18 passing with 110 yards and one interception, while adding  42-yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Omari Albert extended the Rattlers lead to 14-0 with his one-yard rushing touchdown at the start of the second quarter.

The Rattlers added two field goals during the final four minutes of the second half, giving FAMU a 20-0 lead over Mississippi Valley going into halftime.

At halftime the Marching 100 performed, but not before holding a moment of silence for the victims of hazing.

The Delta Devils offense got on the board in the third quarter when they got a 21-yard field goal from Cherchen Galon to cut the Rattlers lead to 20-3.

Mississippi Valley scored their first touchdown of the game with 10:21 remaining in the fourth quarter thanks to a two-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Collins to cut FAMU’s lead to 20-10.

The Rattlers added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard rush by Al-Terek McBurse, giving them a 27-10 lead. FAMU forced Mississippi Valley to punt and then ran out the clock to hold on for the 27-10 victory in their season opener.

Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin, came out of the tunnel with FAMU before the game, while Trayvon’s brother Jahvaris was also in attendance.

FAMU’s next game is Saturday, September 7, at 2:00 p.m. against Tennessee State in Tallahassee.