TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Florida A&M University rode their Homecoming crowd to a second half rally and defeated Hampton University 31-14 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon in front of 26,044 at Bragg Stadium.
The Rattlers scored on their first possession of the game marching 80 yards in eight plays as Ryan Stanley connected with Louben Polince for a 19 yard scoring pass to lead 7-0 with 11:53 left in the quarter.
Hampton kept the Rattlers in check for the first half and tied the game late in the second quarter going 80 yards in 14 plays with Yahkee Johnson finishing it with a 16-yard scoring run. Adam Brown’s extra-point attempt tied the game at seven with 4:59 left in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Rattlers scored 10 points in the span of 2:35 to break the game open. The Rattlers marched 80 yards in 10 plays as Stanley threw his second touchdown pass of the day as he hit Brandon Norwood with a 15-yard strike to lead 14-7 with 8:45 left.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Rattlers recovered a lateral on the Hampton 21. The defense held strong and forced a 26-yard field goal from Colby Blanton with 6:10 left to give the hosts a 17-7 advantage.
The Rattlers return unit set up the next score after a 35-yard punt return gave them possession on the Hampton 43. A 13-play drive followed with Hans Supre finishing it off with a two-yard plunge as the Rattlers pushed the advantage to 24-7 with 13:04 left in the game.
Hampton responded with a lengthy drive of its own going 75 yards in 12 plays as wide receiver Shakim Alonzo found Kentrell Richard with a six-yard scoring pass to get the Pirates within 24-14 at the 9:21 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Rattlers closed the scoring with a two-yard Tevin Spells run with 1:18 left as their defense set the drive up picking off a Jaylian Williamson pass.
Johnson was the leading rusher in the game carrying the ball 14 times for 97 yards and a touchdown, while Eric Carter had 11 carries for 68 yards for Hampton. Williamson was 16-of-35 for 135 yards and one interception. Rashawn Proctor and Twarn Mixson had four receptions each to lead Hampton. On defense, Devin Vandyke had six solo tackles and one pass breakup to lead the Pirates.
Hampton returns home for their next three games starting on October 29 when they host the South Carolina State Bulldogs for a 1 pm kickoff at Armstrong Stadium.