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Florida A&,M 30, Alabama St. 20

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- LeRoy Vann returned a kickoff 99 yards and Eddie Battle ran for a 17-yard touchdown to lead Florida A&M to a 30-20 win over Alabama State on Saturday.

Florida A&M (1-0) gave Joe Taylor a win in his debut as Rattlers? coach and beat Alabama State (0-1) for the first time since 1977.

Vann?s return with 2:56 left in the second quarter broke a 14-14 tie, and Florida A&M led the rest of the game.

Battle, the Rattlers? quarterback, completed nine of 15 passes for 124 yards and ran for a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Alabama State quarterback Reid Herchenbach completed 22 of 34 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns.

The teams started off quickly, scoring three touchdowns and totaling 250 offensive yards in the first quarter. Florida A&M took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yards to take a 7-0 lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Philip Sylvester.

Alabama State responded with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Herchenbach to Marcus McCall to tie the game at 7-7. After Battle?s touchdown run, Alabama State tied the game 14-14 on an eight-yard pass from Anthony Speight to Nicholas Andrews.

Florida A&M also scored in the second half on a safety and a five-yard touchdown run by Lonvontae Page. Alabama State scored its final touchdown on a five-yard pass from Herchenbach to Cedric Harris in the fourth quarter.

Taylor took over as Florida A&M coach this year after 16 years at Hampton. He replaced Rubin Carter, who was fired after the Rattlers finished 3-8 last season.