The rain and the lightning couldn't stop the Rams, as #5 ranked Winston-Salem State University rolled over Virginia Union, 35-6 on Saturday night.
Playing their first home game since opening weekend, Winston-Salem State would defer the toss and give the Virginia Union University Panthers the ball first.
Two penalties on the Rams early, immediately gave the Panthers excellent field position and they would try to exploit the early advantage, but the drive would stall and WSSU would force a 43 yard field goal attempt. But Stephen Velasquez's kick sailed wide, giving the Rams the ball.
WSSU would take over, and the rushing of transfer Patrick Mputu, would take control early for the Rams, picking up 19 yards on four carries, and quarterback Kameron Smith hitting Jameze Massey for a 25 yard gain, quickly moving WSSU deep into Panther territory. But two plays later, Smith's pass was tip at he lien of scrimmage, and VUU's Rasheen Person picked off the pass.
Neither team would be able to sustain a drive, and the first quarter ended knotted up at 0-0.
Early in the second framed, WSSU's Kameron Smith would begin to start firing accurately, and found Tehvyn Brantley for a six yard out, and Bryce Sherman carried the for a four yard gain, before Smith would find Jameze Massy across the middle and Massey would scamper 40 yards for a touchdown. Alejandro Suarez's PAT gave WSSU a 7-0 lead.
The Rams defense would continue to dominate and forced anther VUU punt on the Panthers next possession.
Kameron Smith would rush 29 yards up the right sideline on the first play of the drive, and a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty two a play later gave WSSU prime field position at the Panther 12 yard line. Patrick Mputu would find the endzone for a score. Another Suarez PAGT pushed the lead to 14-0.
WSSU would get one more scoring opportunity in the first half, as they would go on an impressive 95 yard, 12 play scoring drive that would take up 6:29. Solid rushing by Patrick Mputu and Kameron Smith, mixed in big with catches by Jamal Williams, Jahuann Butler and Jameze Massey, before Muptu would find the endzone for the second time on the night, giving the Rams commanding 21-0 heading into the locker room at the half.
The Winston-Salem State offense racked up a whopping 287 yards in the first half, while the Ram defensive unit held Virginia Union to just 80 yards of offense.
The Rams would get the ball first in the third quarter, but the drive would stall and Landen Thayer's punt would sail 41 to the Rams 33.
But Virginia Union would get sloppy with the ball, and WSSU's Dominique Tate would pick off Abe Coleman's pass giving the Rams solid field position.
Seven plays later, Kameron Smith would sneak across the goal line giving Winston-Salem State a 28-0 lead.
The Panthers would get the ball and start on their most successful series of the game as they would eat up 7:23 seconds going on a 13 play drive. But on fourth and four from the Rams' 12, Darryl Pulliam would stuff the VUU rusher, turning the ball back over to the hot Ram offense.
But one the ensuing play, Kameron Smith's pass would be picked off by VVU's Brian Smith at the WSSU 44.
As the fourth quarter began, the Panthers would not be able to maintain the ball, as WSSU's Curtis McGill would intercept an Abe Coleman pass giving the ball back to the Rams.
Seven plays later, Kameron Smith would find Jahuann Butler from 34 yards out to push WSSU's lead to 35-0.
Cooler temperatures and a breeze would invade the Winston-Salem area, and in a matter of just mere minutes, a torrential downpour and lightning smothered Bowman Gray Stadium.
The game was halted for 30 minutes with 11:53 remaining for lightning. Both teams, headed to the locker room, while the fans in the stands headed for any cover they could find.
When the two teams return to the field about 40 minutes later, Virginia Union would take the ball and 18 plays later would find the goal line, when Abe Coleman would find Matias Parker from 15 yards out for a score.
The game would end with Winston-Salem State picking up their fourth win, and first CIAA win, while Virginia union would fall to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the CIAA North.
Offensively, the WSSU Rams were led in rushing by Kameron Smith, who picked up 69 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. Patrick Mputu rushed for 46 yards and two scores on 12 carries, while Bryce Sherman rushed eight times for 31 yards.
Kameron Smith was also 16 of 27 for 254 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Jamal Williams only pass on a trick play connected for 12 yards. Anthony Carrothers was 0 for 1.
Jameze Massey had his second 100 yard+ game in a row, as he snagged five passes for 103 yards and one touchdown, while Jahuann Butler also hauled in five passes for 99 yards and one touchdown. Jamal Williams and Tehvyn Brantley had two receptions each for 32 and 12 yards respectively. Jamie DeGeare, Bryce Sherman and Patrick Mputu each caught one pass.
Landen Thayer continued his solid punting, with three punts for 134 yards for an average of 44.7 yards with a long of 56 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Carlos Fields led the Rams with 11 tackles, three of which were for losses. Shayquan Manning finished with seven tackles, including 2.5 for losses, while Malcolm Rowe finished with seven tackles as well. Rowe had several big hits throughout the game. Khendra Reid and Daniel Mungin each had six tackles, with Reid also having a tackle for a loss. Lashawn Samuel and Curtis McGill each had five tackles with McGill also picking off his second pass of the season. Dominique Tate also had an interception for the Rams.
The #5 ranked Winston-Salem State University Rams will travel to Bowie State University next Saturday in Bowie, MD, for a 1:00 pm kickoff.