The South Carolina State Bulldogs(3-5 overall, 2-3 MEAC) snapped a two game losing streak in a 27-20 overtime thriller over the Rattlers of Florida A&M (3-5 overall, 3-2 MEAC) Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
"This was a great, hard-fought victory , with both teams playing their hearts out, "said SC State head coach Buddy Pough. "If there was ever a team that needed something good to happen it was this team."
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a 1-yard punch by sophomore running back Julius Pendergrass (5-8, 170) at the 9:47 mark in the first quarter. FAMU tied the game 7-7 on a 25-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Damien Fleming (6-3, 180) to sophomore wide receiver Admasen Felix (5-11, 195) with 0:46 seconds left in the first half.
Red-shirt junior quarterback Richard Cue (6-1, 180) opened up the second half on a 7-yard run at the 12:31 mark to put the Bulldogs ahead 14-7 early in the third quarter. Junior kicker Nick Belcher (5-9, 170) nailed one of two key field goals from 38-yards to give SC State a 17-7 advantage with 4:13 left in the quarter.
Fleming rallied the Rattlers to within a score 17-13 on a 4-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Lenworth Lemmon (5-9, 168) at the 12:10 mark in the fourth quarter. Belcher connected on his second field goal of the night with a 47-yarder with 8:52 left in the game to give SC State a 20-13 lead.
Back-up quarterback senior Tyler Bass's (6-3, 220) 42-yard bomb to senior running back James Owens (5-9, 180) with 2:37 left in regulation tied the game 20-20 to send the game into overtime.
Sophomore running back Jalen Simmons (5-8, 205)sealed the victory on 7-yard punch in overtime to give SC State their second conference win of the season. Simmons led the rushing attack with a career-high 24 carries for 144 yards.
FAMU defense was spearheaded by sophomore strong safety Devan Roberts (6-1, 200) with a game-high 11 tackles in the loss. The Bulldogs defense was led by senior linebacker Cortney Ingram (5-10, 205) with eight tackles on the night.
Pough stated, "To go out and play the way we did, sometimes against adversity, was really special."
Pough extended his winning record to 10-1 versus Florida A&M.
SC State will return to action on next week when they host the Bison of Howard University in a pivotal MEAC showdown. Kick-off is 1:30 p.m.