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College football around the state

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000


Nunnally climbs the receptions chart as FAMU romps

ATLANTA -- Jacquay Nunnally caught nine passes for 113 yards as Florida A&M beat Tennessee State 31-6 Saturday in the Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome.

Nunnally pushed his career total to 256 receptions to move into third place on the Division I-AA list, passing Brown's Sean Morey, who caught 251 passes from 1995-98.

Nunnally trails Jerry Rice by 47 catches. Idaho's Kasey Dunn is second with 268.

FAMU avenged last season's 42-25 loss to Tennessee State.

"It felt great because we've been thinking about it the whole year," said senior defensive back Darnell Vickers, who had eight tackles. "After the way we lost last year, we knew we had to come out with a good showing today."

Florida A&M quarterback Quinn Gray completed 18 of 34 passes for 173 yards and was named the game's most valuable player, but he left in the fourth quarter with a sprained left knee.

The Rattlers held Tennessee State to 21 yards rushing. The Tigers rushed for minus-38 yards in the first half.

Their score came on a 37-yard punt return by Carlos Wright.

"Basically, it feels great," said senior defensive end Jauron Dailey, who had seven tackles. "We accomplished (the shutout), but not fully. They still got those six points. But we scored a touchdown and we set the offense up to score. The defense is getting better every week and that's our main goal."

Atlanta native Michael Leslie rushed for 53 yards for Florida A&M, most in the final five minutes as the Rattlers ran out the clock.

The Tigers also lost two fumbles, and starting quarterback Kenton Evans had a pass intercepted by Troy Hart, who scored on a 35-yard return. Tigers backup quarterback Shannon Harris completed 14 of 25 passes for 126 yards.

"We can thank the defense for this game," Nunnally said. "The offense did enough to win, but our defense shut them down. Any time you get the ball on the other side of the 50, any halfway decent offense will score some points."

Tennessee State has lost three straight since its opening victory against Alabama State. Florida A&M won for the 12th time in its past 14 games against the Tigers.

The crowd of 62,455 was the largest in the 12-year history of the event.

Gray opened the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown to Marco Junious in the first quarter. Gray's 4-yard run in the second quarter gave the Rattlers a 14-0 lead. O.J. Marchbanks' 1-yard dive with 2:39 left in the half made it 21-0.

UCF 52, WILLIAM & MARY 7: The host Golden Knights blew open a close game with 38 unanswered points in the second half.

Quarterback Vic Penn threw touchdowns of 13 yards to Jimmy Johnson in the first quarter and 15 yards to Tyson Hinshaw in the second as Central Florida took a 14-7 halftime lead.

Albert Snyder replaced Penn in the second half and led six scoring drives. He threw two touchdowns to Hinshaw and one to Johnson, and Omari Howard ran for two scores. Javier Beorlegui also hit a 25-yard field goal.

- Times correspondent Jabari Ritchie contributed to this report.

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