WINSTON-SALEM, NC - #11 Winston-Salem State used a solid defensive performance and got key plays early and down the stretch to defeat the Fayetteville State Broncos, 2814 on Saturday to secure the CIAA's Southern Division crown and earned their third consecutive trip to the CIAA Championship Game.
With the win the Rams move to 9-1, 7-0 in the CIAA, while Fayetteville State falls to 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the CIAA.
It wouldn't take long for the Rams to jump into the scoring column, as they took the opening kickoff and marched 66 yards in five plays, capped of with a Maurice Lewis three yard run to give WSSU an early 7-0 lead.
Winston-Salem State would jumped on the scoreboard again late in the first quarter, after completing a 57 yard, eight play drive that once again ended with a Maurice Lewis score. This time Lewis crossed the goal line from 10 yards out to give WSSU a 14-0 lead.
There would be no more scoring in the game until midway through the fourth quarter, and then the scoring came in bunches, from both teams.
Fayetteville State finally got on the scoreboard when Jemeryn Jenkins found an open Antonio Allen from 17 yards out for a touchdown, cutting the WSSU lead to seven, at 14-7.
Winston-Salem State would come right back, and countered with a 74 yard, eight play drive that ended that took nearly four minutes off the clock as Joshua Glisson scampered across the goal line to push the Rams lead back to 14 points, at 21-7.
It would take just over a minute for the Broncos of Fayetteville State to get right back in the game, as thye would go 68 yards in five plays, capped off by a Jemeryn Jenkins to Dwayne Lorrick from 21 yards out to pull back to within seven, at 21-14 with 2:11 left to play.
The Rams were once again on their heels, but Fayetteville State's attempted the onside kick was left null and void as WSSU's Eric Williams recovered the kick giving the Rams back the ball with just under 2:00 to play.
Two plays later, Rudy Johnson would find a streaking Chase Powell downthe left sideline, but he ball would be tipped, and Powell would tip it back to himself, and then outrun the Broncos to the endzone to give the Rams the final score of 28-14.
Offensively, Maurice Lewis had a career day with 186 yards rushing on 29 carries and two touchdowns, while Joshua Glisson added 65 rushing yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. Rudy Johnson had 13 carries for 16 yards and Chase Powell had two carries for 10 yards.
Rudy Johnson completed 13 of 21 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown with one interception. His long pass of the day came on his final throw, a 44 yard scoring strike to Chase Powell.
Chase Powell led the receivers with six catches for 72 yards and one touchdown, while Eric Williams added three catches for 41 yards, Rashon Williams had two receptions for 26 yards and Kenneth Patterson (42 yards) and Maurice Lewis (13 yards) had one catch each.
William Johnson had a solid afternoon punting, with 119 yards on three punts for a 39.7 average.
Defensively, Carlos Field led the Rams with 10 tackles and a half a tackle for a loss, while Daniel Mungin added eight tackles, one sack and 2 tackles for loss. Jerome Junior added six tackles, a half a tackle for a loss and one pass breakup. Larry Hearne, Everett Proctor and Matthew Browning each had four tackles with Proctor also adding an interception and a pass breakup. Five others had three tackles each with Michael Bloomfield picking up a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. John Rizor also had a sack for the Rams.
The Rams will play the Virginia State Trojans at 1:00 p.m. in the CIAA championship Game at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday, November 16th.