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State: Rattlers stumble in Detroit Classic

Associated Press
Published August 31, 2003

DETROIT - Robert Randolph rushed for two touchdowns and Ronald Dillon had 14 tackles with three sacks as Alabama State beat Florida A&M 38-22 Saturday in the inaugural Detroit Classic at Ford Field.

Richard Rowe scored on a 51-yard punt return and Erlin Sanders returned a blocked field goal 65 yards for the Hornets. Tarvari Jackson threw an 11-yard touchdown to Brandon Horace.

Ben Dougherty passed for 271 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a team-high 67 yards and another TD for the Rattlers.

Rowe's punt return opened scoring with 7:11 left in the first quarter. Randolph scored from three yards out 38 seconds later.

Randolph's four-yard TD run put Alabama State up 21-0 with 6:53 left in the first half, but the Rattlers cut the lead with six seconds left on a two-yard touchdown from Dougherty to Cardan Alexander.

Florida A&M got within six twice in the third quarter: first at 21-15 on Dougherty's TD run and two-point conversion, then 28-22 on a two-yard run by Jermaine Shaw.

Rowe blocked a 35-yard field-goal attempt by Rattlers with 14:49 left, and Sanders returned it 65 yards. Jackson finished 10-for-18 for 142 yards and one interception. Florida A&M's Anthony Demps caught six passes for 115 yards.

B-CC 62, SAVANNAH STATE 12: Freshman Eric Weems scored four first-half touchdowns - two rushing, two receiving - to power the Wildcats in the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Classic at Alltel Stadium.

Weems scored on a pair of 8-yard runs and caught touchdowns of 48 and 56 yards from Allen Suber during the first half, as Bethune-Cookman built a 48-0 halftime lead. Weems finished with five catches for 153 yards and three carries for 20 yards.

For Savannah State, Marcus Harris caught a 33-yard touchdown from Clyde Tullis and Ontreal Bowers scored on a 1-yard run.

Suber had 291 yards total offense in playing the first half. He gained 117 yards on nine rushes, including a 54-yard run for the Wildcats' sixth touchdown of the first half, and was 7-for-10 passing for 174 yards.

Bethune-Cookman, the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, scored on its first five possessions and scored touchdowns on seven of its nine possessions in the first half.

Xavier Butler had a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown and Rodney Johnson added an 11-yard TD run before halftime for the Wildcats, who compiled 480 yards total offense compared with 116 for Savannah State.

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