Florida Classic: Dougherty earns stats but not win
By SHARON GINN
Published November 21, 2004
ORLANDO - If any game summed up the season for Florida A&M quarterback Ben Dougherty, it would be Saturday's.
The senior, who is fourth all-time on FAMU's career passing yardage list, was dazzling against Bethune-Cookman. He threw for 462 yards and six touchdowns on 25-of-46 passing.
But he was sacked four times as the Wildcats brought wave after wave of defenders late in the game, stifling the Rattlers' attack in B-CC's 58-52 overtime victory. "They blitzed to put more pressure on (us), and it worked for them," Dougherty said.
It is a strategy that has worked for more Rattler opponents than not.
Until then, just about everything worked for Dougherty and FAMU, especially in the first half.
He threw for three touchdowns and 158 yards in the first quarter and FAMU rolled to an early 28-7 lead.
But by the end of the game, the magic was gone: In the final two minutes of regulation, Dougherty was intercepted once and sacked twice.
KISER ROLLS: FAMU's Roosevelt Kiser set a Florida Classic record for receiving yards with 197 on five catches. He surpassed the mark of 183 set by Cainon Lamb in 1999.
HIGH TALLY: Bethune-Cookman's 58 points were by far its most against FAMU, easily surpassing the record 39 it scored last year.
The 110 total points also was a record, beating the 1960 mark - set by FAMU. The Rattlers walloped the Wildcats 97-0 that year.
LOUD CROWD: The crowd of 71,153 was the sixth consecutive over 70,000 in the series, and the second-largest in Classic history. Last year's crowd of 73,358 set the standard.
WILLIAMS SHINES: B-CC kick returner Ricky Williams, a junior from Gulfport, had six kickoff returns for 154 yards. His 80-yard return in the third quarter set up a touchdown that pulled the Wildcats within 14 points.
THE RATTLERS' RETURN: Florida A&M played as a Division I-AA independent this season after the school's board of directors decided in February against making the planned move to I-A.
It was too late to get back on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule for this season, but the Rattlers will return to regular conference play next year. B-CC was the only MEAC team FAMU faced in 2004.
LONG HAUL: The game was a sellout, but the seats didn't fill in until the second quarter. Traffic heading east on Interstate 4 was brutally congested, moving at little more than a crawl from Sea World to downtown Orlando.
As a result, fans were still pulling into the Citrus Bowl parking lots an hour after the 4 p.m. start time.
THERE SHE IS: Miss America 2004, Ericka Dunlap, attended and was introduced to the crowd in the third quarter. Dunlap, who recently relinquished her crown, is from Orlando and is due to graduate from the University of Central Florida next year. Dunlap was the first black Miss Florida in the pageant's history.