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College football around the state

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


FAMU blows by Hampton to create MEAC gridlock

TALLAHASSEE -- Quinn Gray threw four touchdowns and running back O.J. Marchbanks rushed for two as Florida A&M beat Hampton 53-24 on Saturday.

The Rattlers' win and North Carolina A&T's victory over Bethune-Cookman created a four-way tie atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Gray threw two touchdowns to record-chasing receiver Jacquay Nunnally and two to Marco Junious as Florida A&M scored 47 points in the second and third quarters.

Nunnally caught five passes to edge closer to former Mississippi Valley State great Jerry Rice's Division I-AA record for receptions. Nunnally has 290 catches, 11 short of tying Rice.

After trailing 3-0 in the first quarter, Florida A&M went up 21-9 at halftime with the help of its defense, which made two key interceptions.

The first of three first-half touchdowns came when Gray tossed a 17-yard pass to receiver Marco Junious with 9:41 left. Linebacker Patrick Burrows set up the drive when he intercepted Ataveus Cash at midfield.

The Rattlers scored a little more than four minutes later when Marchbanks ran up the middle for 20 yards.

Linebacker Alex Fortson scored the third Florida A&M touchdown when he intercepted Cash at the Hampton 18 and ran it back.

Florida A&M added 26 points in the third quarter, as Gray threw a 23-yard touchdown to Junious and touchdowns of 6 and 28 yards to Nunnally. Marchbanks scored on a 15-yard run.

N. CAROLINA A&T 30, B-CC 19: Maurice Hicks rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown, and the host Aggies had five interceptions to hand the Wildcats their first loss.

North Carolina A&T intercepted Allen Suber three times late in the fourth quarter to stem a rally.

Ahmad Blakney had two interceptions for the Aggies, who also had four sacks.

A&T took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter on a 33-yard punt return by Chris Caldwell, but the Wildcats tied the score on a 2-yard run by Jay Rogers.

After a 35-yard field goal by Darren Dawkins, Keith Matkins hit Damian Phillips with a 17-yard score with 35 seconds left in the half to give the Aggies a 16-7 lead.

A&T increased its lead to 30-7 in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by Matkins and a 5-yard run by Hicks.

The Wildcats scored twice late in the third quarter on a 34-yard run by Suber and a 68-yard punt return by Antonio Stanley, but the Aggies defense held Bethune-Cookman scoreless in the fourth quarter.

JU 17, STONY BROOK 14 (2OT): Brett Keener kicked a game-winning 27-yard field goal in double overtime for host Jacksonville.

Keener's kick came one possession after he missed a 36-yarder in the first overtime. The Dolphins blocked a field goal on Stony Brook's opening overtime possession.

The Dolphins defense came up with two big plays after Keener's kick. Defensive end Scott Wilson sacked David Rodriguez for a 9-yard loss, and on the final play, cornerback Boshawn Mack tipped Rodriguez's pass to Wright at the goal line.

The Seawolves tied the score at 14 early in the fourth quarter when running back Clinton Graham scored on a 13-yard run to cap a 13-play, 87-yard drive. Jacksonville free safety Tyrone Wright had an interception on the final play of regulation.

Wide receiver Brett Palmi had seven catches for 91 yards for JU, which has 742 total yards in its past two games. Dolphins quarterback Scott Brickley completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

JU had four sacks for minus-32 yards and 14 tackles for a loss for minus-48 yards, led by Wilson's 21/2 sacks and three tackles for a loss.

Stony Brook, which dropped its fifth straight, got 103 yards on 16 carries from Graham, and senior tailback Ralph Menendez set the school's all-time rushing record with 70 yards on 15 carries. Menendez has 2,391 career yards, passing Oliver Bridges' 2,342.

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