WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (3-3, 2-2 CIAA) clicked on all cylinders when the team took an impressive 36-6 win over the Saint Augustine's Falcons (2-4, 2-2 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams combined for 419 yards of total offense with a defense that only allowed 244 yards and six points to claim a key Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) victory.
"Both teams fought hard. I was a little bit concerned early since they had a couple of drives," WSSU football head coach Kienus Boulware said after the game. "But we had a couple of turnovers and we scored early and I could say often....this gives us something to work on and its always better to work on things after a win rather than a loss."
The Rams took the win behind their most complete game of the season. As a team, the Rams amassed 36 points, including four rushing touchdowns in the game. WSSU freshman quarterback Dominique Graves had a breakout game with a career-high 15-of-19 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown in the game. He also added a 41-yard touchdown run of his own. Senior running back Kerrion Moore also rushed for three touchdowns in the game as well.
It was on defense that the Rams really stood out as they held the Falcons to just 244 yards and six points in the game. The WSSU defense also forced four turnovers in the game with four turnovers, including three interceptions and a fumble recovery. WSSU senior linebacker Patrick Green led the way for the Rams with 10 tackles (six solo) in the game while freshman linebacker Ta'Shaun Taylor added eight tackles (four solo).
The Rams struck early and often in the game with a big first quarter. After forcing an SAU fumble on the third play from scrimmage, the rams struck with a 41-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Pavel Buenaventura with 11:59 left in the first quarter. After an interception from senior linebacker Jayron Rankin in the WSSU endzone ended Saint Augustine's' scoring threat, the Rams answered with an 80-yard drive that included a 69-yard pass from Graves to senior wide receiver Quincy Jackson that set up a four-yard touchdown run from Moore. The Buenaventura PAT kick put the Rams on top, 10-0 with 10-0 with 5:23 left in the first quarter. The Rams added to their lead later in the quarter when Graves had a 41-yard touchdown run of his own at the end of the quarter. The PAT kick from Buenaventura left the Rams on top 17-0 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter was more competitive with both teams recording a touchdown of their own. Saint Augustine's got thing started when a three-yard touchdown run capped an eight-play, 55-yard drive and left the Rams on top, 17-6 with 12:08 left in the quarter. The Rams had an answer of their own when an interception from junior free safety Daryus Skinner sparked a 10-play, 92-yard drive by the Rams that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Graves to junior wide receiver Jonathan Allen. The failed PAT kick left the Rams on top, 23-6 with 3:37 left in the second quarter. The Rams would go on to take that score into the locker room at halftime.
The Rams kept things going in the third quarter. The team first struck with a nine-play, 81-yard drive that was capped by a four-yard touchdown run from Moore on the teams opening drive of the half. The Buenaventura PAT kick left the Rams on top, 30-6 with 9:38 left in the third quarter. The Rams would cap the scoring in the game when Moore rushed for his third touchdown of the game. This time, he had a six-yard touchdown run that capped a six-play, 68-yard drive by the Rams.
With the game in control, the Rams turned to their defense to close out the game as they held the Falcons scoreless for the fourth quarter, forcing a turnover on downs and a punt on the two SAU drives.
The effort left the Rams with a 36-6 win and improves the Rams to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The win also keeps the Rams at 2-0 in CIAA Southern Division play. The team will return to action next weekend when they host the Livingstone Blue Bears in a 1:30 p.m. Homecoming match-up. For more information on Rams football, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.