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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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FAMU kicker misses first extra points
By IZZY GOULD
Published November 19, 2006
ORLANDO - Wesley Taylor watched in disgust as two first-half kicks fell off the mark, followed by a third in the fourth quarter.
The Florida A&M kicker, a Riverview alumnus, missed his first and second extra points of the season, as well as a field goal in the second quarter. Taylor entered the game perfect with 25 extra points. He was 2-of-4 on Saturday night.
When he trotted onto the field for a 48-yard field goal, he knocked it wide left then shook his head. The kick would have given the Rattlers a two-point lead.
Taylor made up for it just before halftime when he hit a 27-yarder to take a 9-7 lead.
He missed his second extra point in the fourth, leaving Bethune-Cookman down by two touchdowns. However, FAMU pulled away for a 35-21 victory.
BIGGER THAN BAYOU?: The Florida Classic's announced attendance of 71,216 made it the second biggest crowd in its history.
The game's official Web site - www.floridaclassic.org - claims it is "the largest game between two historically black colleges in America."
Try telling that to the Bayou Classic, which pits Grambling against Southern. That showdown began in 1974, and 76,753 fans attended the inaugural game.
It took the Classic 20 games for attendance to break the 70,000 mark, with 70,125 fans in 1999. The Classic has stayed above that number since, with the largest Classic crowd of 73,358 in 2003.
Saturday was the 10th anniversary for the Classic in Orlando, which moved from Tampa after being held there from 1978 through 1996.
RATTLERS' STRANGLE HOLD ON SERIES: Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman met for the 60th time, with the Rattlers holding a significant edge in the series, which began in 1925. FAMU is now 45-14-1.
BAY AREA PERFORMANCES: Including Taylor, the Classic featured 13 players from the Bay area. For the Rattlers: Victoriano Arboleda (Middleton), Gregory Clark (Durant), Lymon Reed (Chamberlain) and LeRoy Vann (Blake). For the Wildcats: Robert Allen (Hudson), Josh Balloon (USF), Wayne Byers (East Bay), Terrance Cato (Brandon), David Johnson (Troy), Ronnie McCullough (USF), Dohnovan Simpson (Jefferson) and Blake Varino (Jefferson).
BATTLE OF THE BANDS: FAMU's Marching 100 ended its halftime performance by forming the Air Jordan symbol, the silhouette of former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan. A small section of the band broke off to form a ball, and the band began moving back and forth to resemble a jump shot in motion.