Winless Hornets fall to Florida A&M 41-27

Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — Florida A&M’s quarterback Ryan Stanley isn’t know among the MEAC as much of a runner.

And the Rattlers aren’t considered an explosive offensive force — their highest scoring output entering Saturday was just 19 points in a single game.

That’s not the team Delaware State experienced on its homecoming.

Stanley rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries in a 41-27 defeat of the Hornets. Stanley also threw for a touchdown as the Hornets remained winless and dropped to 0-3 in the MEAC (0-6 overall).

Second-year DelState coach Kenny Carter blamed the lackluster defensive performance on a steady stream of missed tackles.

“It’s disheartening,” Carter said. “We put ourselves in a great situation coming back after halftime, then we dang just miss tackles in the open field. It just breaks my heart.”

The result ruined a dominant performance by the Hornet running game.

Sophomore Brycen Alleyne rushed for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman running back Mike Waters racked up 150 rushing yards of his own while quarterback Dan Epperson scored on two rushing touchdowns.

Alleyne’s 169 yards rushing were the most by a Hornet since Kareem Jones ran for 230 against Winston-Salem State in 2008.

The Hornets trailed 13-0 early on but rallied to tie the contest at 20-20 on a 13-yard rush by Alleyne in the third quarter. Delaware State couldn’t take the lead though as Wisdom Nzidee’s extra point attempt was blocked.

That momentum was short-lived, however, the Rattlers scored three consecutive touchdowns to begin the fourth quarter.

“It’s the same stuff that has happened in the games before,” Alleyne said. “It’s miscues on offense and missed tackles on defense. That happened in both the first half and the second half.”

Florida A&M was able to sustain most of its drives thanks to a 8-of-13 success rate on third down conversions. Meanwhile, the Hornet offense went 2-of-13 on its third down attempts.

Carter against pointed to missed tackles to why the Rattlers were able to stay on the field, saying it wasn’t a scheme issue.

“The person is in position to make the tackle, just make the tackle,” Carter said. “I can’t tell you the amount of frustration I have when it comes to that.”

The final nail in the coffin for the Hornets came with 6:33 left in the fourth quarter.

DelState was down 34-21 and facing a fourth-and-goal at the FAMU three. Epperson tried to hit wide receiver Mason Rutherford in the corner of the end zone, but threw the pass too low and it was picked off by FAMU’s Orlando McKinley.

McKinley returned the interception 100 yards for the final touchdown.

“We’ve got to work harder,” Waters said. “We’ve got to come out stronger and faster as a collective whole. I think our offense did well, our defense needs to make some tackles but I think we’ll end up being good.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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