Rattlers bite Trojans with

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 1999

two quick strikes on offense


Sports Writer

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If you could take away sixty-four seconds from the Troy State-Florida A&M contest yesterday, the Trojans would probably be preparing for a home game next week against Youngstown State for the right to play for the Division 1-AA National Title in Chattanooga on Dec.18th.

Sixty-four seconds were all the Rattlers offense needed to score two quick touchdowns, both of them on long bomb passes to senior wide receiver Demetrius Bendross, and take a 17-10 victory with them next week to Youngstown, Ohio.

"The thing we thought we had to do,"Trojan head coach Larry Blakeney said. "Was number one, don’t let the quarterback and fullback run up and down the field on us, number two, we thought we had to tackle their receivers on the short passes, and three don’t give up the big plays. For the most part we did a pretty good job, but we gave up the two long passes."

Senior JaJaun Seider tossed the first touchdown to Bendross, a 77 yarder coming right after Troy State’s Al Lucas had giving the Trojans a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Bendross got behind the Trojan secondary and sprinted into the end zone with arms raised to tie the game. The Rattlers first scoring drive totaled fifty-six seconds.

Seider wasn’t around to throw the next touchdown. He left the game early in the second half due to muscle cramps and was replaced by sophomore Quinn Gray. Midway through the third quarter, Gray threw a bomb to Bendross, this time for 56-yards and the score to put the Rattlers up 17-7. That drive totaled eight seconds.

"Troy State has a real good front seven," Gray said. "We have tons of respect for those guys. It’s just a tribute to our offensive line stepping up and getting the job done, not allowing no sacks and keeping them off of us when we try to throw the ball."

Although they gave up over 490 yards of total offense along with the two long touchdown strikes, for the most part the Trojan defense did a good job keeping the Rattlers out of the end zone. Florida A&M came into the game averaging over 45 points a game.

But the 17 points proved to be enough, as the Troy State offense went into hibernation after their first possession of the game. The Rattlers defense harassed and sacked Brock Nutter all day and never let the Trojans running game get on track.