TAMPA, Fla (Sept.16) — The city of Tampa was treated to the HBCU meetup between the Florida A&M University Rattlers and Tennessee State University Tigers known as the Tampa Classic. If the Classic sounds familiar it is because Tampa used to host the Florida Classic in the old Tampa Stadium from 1978-1996. The Florida Classic is a matchup between the FAMU rattlers and the BCU Wildcats. This game would feature only one of the old teams. FAMU comes into today’s game with a 1-1 record vs a 2-0 TSU team led by University of Florida transfer QB Treon Harris. The first quarter of play only produced a 49 yd field goal kick by Kicker Lane Clark to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. FAMU would score in the 2nd Quarter with a 1 yard touchdown run by RB Devin Bowers but TSU would block the extra point kick. With the Rattlers up by 3, QB Treon Harris would connect with WR Steven Newbold on a 44 yard pass to give TSU a 9-6 lead. We must take a pause right here and go over this play. MVP of the Game Mr. Newbold makes a catch on the left sideline and he made would be defender miss left and right. I think I counted 15-25 miss tackles. If it was not for the end-zone he would still be jooking. He capped the touchdown off with a leap. He already leaped over a player in the game on route to 5 catches and 117 yards. Lane Clark was positive with the PAT to end the half with a 10-6 score.
The 3rd Quarter would was a series of errors a TSU would fumble twice as well as lose 90 yards due to penalties. They however would provide the only points in the 3rd on a 2yd pass to WR Patrick Smith. In the 4th Quarter TSU would secure their victory with a 10 yard Touchdown run by RB Seth Rowland. FAMU however, still had some fight left as they would put 7 more points on the scoreboard with 19 seconds left. TSU QB Treon Harris would later say in post-game comments “It means a lot. Nobody wants to leave the stadium with a loss in a classic game and a rivalry game like this. We prepared all week and we got better. We executed the plan that we had.” This was hopefully the start of a new tradition in Tampa that fans will come to love as much as the old Tampa Classic meetup. Per Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn “I love college football, I love the classics, and I love getting this one back.
(Story by George Vinson)