Florida A&M captures MEAC/SWAC Challenge

The MEAC continues to own the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.

Three different Florida A&M players scored on runs as the Rattlers beat Mississippi Valley State, 27-10, before 24,376 Sunday at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

The MEAC has a 7-2 series lead, including three straight wins, in the annual kickoff battle between teams in the two historically black FCS conferences.

Florida A&M (1-0) built a 20-0 halftime lead as quarterback Damien Fleming scored on a 6-yard run and Omari Albert a 1-yarder followed by two Chase Varnadore field goals.

After Mississippi Valley State (0-1) pulled within 20-10 in the second half on Cherchen Galon's 21-yard field goal and Jeremy Collins' 2-yard run, Florida A&M put the game away on Al-Terek McBurse's 14-yard run with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter.

Fleming (148 total yards) was selected as Florida A&M's most valuable player. Linebacker Jeremy Johnson (13 tackles) earned the same honor for the Delta Devils.

Florida A&M's famed band also made its first appearance in a football stadium in nearly 22 months. The university suspended the band after the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. The suspension was lifted in June.