Each December, the Celebration Bowl brings together the champions of MEAC and SWAC, resulting in a dynamic display of theater. The most recent matchup lived up to the hype and the excitement with the dramatic and heart-stopping play on the field and several nail-biting moments for fans in the stands at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.
On Dec. 16, the Florida A&M Rattlers achieved a victory by defeating the Howard University Bison with a score of 30-26.
With 7:55 left in the game, the Bison were behind 24-19 in the competitions that make champions. With just seconds passing, Dylan White managed to interpret the gaze of Jeremy Moussa, leading him to intercept a pass behind the line of scrimmage. This interception resulted in a touchdown, giving the Bisons a 26-24 lead with 7:09 left on the clock.
Despite not instilling fear in the Rattlers, head coach Willie Simmons executed a flawlessly executed flea-flicker play, resulting in a touchdown and giving them a 30-26 lead.
“After the game, Moussa mentioned that we had a few plays saved specifically for the perfect moment.”
Simmons expressed, “It never successfully worked in practice, I’ll tell you.”
Isaiah Major, the SWAC defensive player of the year, secured the victory for the Rattlers by catching a late interception.
Simmons stated that it was a great day to be a Rattler. These guys, just what they had to overcome and endure this season, you can’t say enough about them. We had the knowledge that this season presented an opportunity for us to be exceptional, however, we were aware that it would not be handed to us effortlessly. Every day, they scratched, clawed, bled, sweat, cried, and went to work.
However, according to Bison head coach Larry Scott, while his team played well, it fell short of securing a victory.
“Losing is never enjoyable. We had chances. … Those are the things that bite you, especially in championship games,” Scott said, referring to penalties and turnovers. We were unable to do sufficient actions to overcome that. One thing we refrain from doing is defeating ourselves, and unfortunately, we somewhat engaged in that activity and caused harm to ourselves in that aspect.
December 16 also marked the 45th anniversary of FAMU’s historic achievement as the first Black college to win the NCAA Division 1-AA national championship.
“Moussa said that both conferences are really good.” “I believe we demonstrate that we are a unique team.” Regardless of whether we’re playing in a conference like MEAC or SWAC, it doesn’t hold much significance.
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