Garner, Rattlers riding high

Garner, Rattlers riding high

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Garner, Rattlers riding high

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FAMU High’s flag football team obviously learned its lesson.

Rattlers coach James Brown thought his team was rattled when it fell behind in a regular-season loss against the Lincoln Trojans.

Brown sternly reminded his players that championship teams overcome adversity.

The Rattlers took Brown’s message to heart, rebounding from their lone defeat of the season to eliminate Lincoln, 19-7, in the opening round of the FHSAA playoffs last week.

“We were two evenly-matched teams and in that first game, Lincoln made the plays at the end and in the rematch, we came up with the big plays,” Brown said.

“I got on our players a little bit after that first game against Lincoln because I thought we got rattled when we fell behind. True champions step up, and you have to keep fighting through adverstiy.”

FAMU (11-1), which scored a pair of touchdowns against Lincoln in the game’s final three minutes, now finds itself one way away from the program’s first appearance in the FHSAA Finals.

The Rattlers must win at Jacksonville First Coast tonight to advance into this weekend’s three-round state tourney final in Kissimmee.

FAMU is led by sophomore quarterback Raygene Garner, who has accounted for more than 3,000 all-purpose yards.

Garner has more than 2,000 rushing yards, 1,262 passing yards and her 50-yard interception return for a touchdown helped FAMU upended Lincoln last week.

Brown credits Garner’s poise and decision-making for helping FAMU reach the regional finals for the second consecutive year. Garner started last season as a freshman for the Rattlers.

“I knew Raygene would be seasoned with a year under her belt,” Brown said.

“With a little more experience and a little more knowledge, I knew she would be even better this year.”

Aaliyah Barrington has chipped in 742 rushing yards and 769 receiving yards, while Taylor Kirby-James and Kiani Sims have combined for 13 touchdowns.

Ashanit Lamb, Kevena Rhodes, Barrington, and Sims help anchor the Rattlers’ defense.

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