WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-3, 3-1 CIAA) did everything needed to take a 34-19 Homecoming/Senior Day win over the Livingstone Blue Bears (2-5, 0-4 CIAA), Saturday. The Rams had a great overall day with great play in all phases of the game.
"I preach to our guys that the team that has the most fun wins," WSSU football head coach Kienus Boulware said. "In order for them to do that, I had to take a step back and have fun myself. So hats off to these seniors who got to go out with a win in their last home game."
The Rams took the win behind a balanced attack with 348 yards of total offense in the game. The rushing attack led the way when WSSU senior running back Kerrion Moore put on a show in his final home game at Bowman Gray Stadium, rushing for 154 yards with two touchdowns in the win. "Kerrion busted a couple of nice runs," WSSU football head coach Kienus Boulware said after the game. "But it was an overall great team win." The WSSU passing attack was solid with freshman quarterback Dominique Graves connecting on seven-of-19 passes for 108 yards. He also had a 21-yard touchdown run before leaving the game with an injury in the second half.
Defensively, the Rams also had a terrific game. Junior defensive back De'Andre Blevins led the way with six total tackles (six solo) with two tackles for a loss. Junior cornerback Tyrell Fleming added five total tackles (four solo) with three pass breakups. Junior free safety Daryus Skinner stole the show with three pass interceptions in the game. With his third interception, Skinner moved into first in the nation in interceptions.
The Rams got things started with a strong first quarter. Though both offenses struggled against some quality defense by both teams, the Rams struck when senior wide receiver Cameron Williams blocked a Livingstone punt that was recovered by junior defensive back Daijon Carson and carried into the endzone for a touchdown. After the missed PAT kick, the Rams were left with a 6-0 lead with 6:17 left in the first quarter.
The second quarter belonged to the Rams as a pair of big Moore runs combined with some stellar defense gave the Rams a big lead at the half. After allowing a Livingstone touchdown early in the second quarter, the Rams soon took over. Moore got things started with a 54-yard touchdown run with 4:02 left in the quarter that was followed by a 52-yard touchdown run with 1:14 left in the quarter. The made PAT kicks on both plays left the Rams with a 20-7 lead at the half.
The Rams carried their strong efforts into the second half with more strong play. Freshman kicker Riley Robbins got things started with a 23-yard field goal with 9:07 left in the quarter and left the Rams on top, 23-7. The Rams scored once again on the ground when Graves had a 27-yard touchdown run with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams found themselves holding off a comeback effort from the blue Bears. Livingstone scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass, but the Rams benefitted as well when Blevins returned a blocked PAT kick for a defensive PAT with 14:38 left to play. Robbins added his second field goal of the game when he connected on a 27-yard field goal with 12:34 left to play. The effort left the Rams ahead, 34-13. The WSSU defense allowed one more Livingstone score, but the Rams would hold on to seal the 34-19 win.
With the win, the Rams improve to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams close out home field this season and will return to the road next weekend when the team heads to Durham, N.C. to take on the Shaw Bears at 1:00 p.m. 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.