Titled as the nation’s largest HBCU football game between two institutions, the 43rd Florida Blue Florida Classic brought out thousands of fans to Orlanda, Florida this past Saturday to fire up the Camping World Stadium. One of the longest rivalries in HBCU history, Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman University had a total of 55,257 fans in attendance on game day. (Source- Florida Blue Florida Classic) The stadium was rocking with both Rattler and Wildcat fans from across the nation.
The Rattlers won the game 41-20, becoming the 2022 Florida Classic Champions. They are now on a 2 year win streak which they hope to extend in next year’s Classic. There was so much excitement in the atmosphere, from the Marching 100, to the fans in attendance, all the way to the energy from both teams on and off the field. Truly showcasing what HBCU sportsmanship and entertainment is all about.
The MVP of the game is the Rattlers and Haines City’s very own number 19, Xavier Smith. His final year as wide reciever for the Rattlers, Smith started off as a second year walk-on that ended up with over 1,000 receiving yards in his 2020 season. From then on, he’s been a dominant force for Rattlers football and fans are excited to see his next moves in his football career.