TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second straight season, North Carolina A&T versus Florida A&M in football came down to the last play.
For the second straight season, the FAMU Rattlers came out on top. The Rattlers handed the Aggies their first loss in conference play in six games with a 34-31 overtime win at Bragg Memorial Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Backup Rattlers quarterback Rasean McKay connected with Marcus Williams for the game-winning touchdown pass. The loss drops the Aggies, the No. 10 team in the nation, to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
Florida A&M (6-1, 4-0 MEAC) is in a first-place tie in the conference with Bethune-Cookman (4-0) but they are ineligible for postseason play. N.C. A&T is in a tie with S.C. State in the standings and behind Bethune-Cookman for first place as teams continue to jockey for a spot in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl on Dec. 21 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“There were several lessons to be learned today. The one thing I am very proud of is the kids did not quit. They fought to the end,” said N.C. A&T coach Sam Washington. “We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and do the little things right. If we work together as a football team, I think we’ll be all right.”
Washington said he was disappointed in having three of his players ejected from the ballgame because of a halftime scuffle that ensued as the two teams headed to their respective locker rooms. FAMU also had three players ejected along with a coach. Every player and coach from both teams were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at halftime.
Two of the players disqualified for the Aggies were All-MEAC performers Elijah Bell (WR) and Mac McCain III (CB). Special teams standout Stephen Davis Jr. was also disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. The three Rattlers ejected from the game were Timothy Williams, Andrew Davis and Jalen Brayboy along with defensive coordinator Ralph Street.
Washington said as far as his players are concerned, it was a lack of self-control. “That cannot happen,” he added.