SALISBURY, NC – Winston-Salem State's TeVaughn Hurse rushed for 103 yards and a score, and Rod Tinsley passed for 142 yards and a touchdown, as the Rams held off Catawba College, 23-17, Saturday night at Shuford Stadium.
The win moves the WSSU Rams to 1-1 on the season, and Catawba College falls to 0-2, on the season.
Winston-Salem state would strike first, as Te'Vaughn Hurse scored from a yard out, capping a six-play 50 yard drive, with 8:53 left in the first quarter. Will Johnson converted the PAT to give the Rams an early 7-0 advantage.
The Catawba Indians bounced back with a score of their own, a nine yard pass to Keyon West from Mike Sheehan, to tie the score at 7-7 with 1:11 left in the first quarter.
WSSU would answer in the second quarter, and give them some breathing room, scoring twice in the quarter.
First, Will Johnson hit on a 37 yard field goal, after the Rams offense bogged down on an eight-play, 55 yard drive.
Then, after a Catawba punt, Rod Tinsley found a streaking Canard Brown down the right side, who then cut back across the field, to complete a 49 yard score. With the PAT from Will Johnson, the Rams were able to take a 17-7 lead into the locker room at the half.
Winston-Salem State would waste no time with putting some points on the board in the third, as they would take the kick to open the second half, and marched down the field, going 56 yards in nine plays, before another Will Johnson field goal, as the Rams jumped out to a 20-7 lead.
The Catawba Indians would answer with a field goal of their own with 2:33 left in the quarter, as Brennen Lambert connected on a 23 yarder, to trim the Rams lead to 23-10.
WSSU would add another field goal in the fourth quarter, as their longest drive of the night, a 67 yard, 12 play drive, would end on the foot of Johnson, as WSSU increased its lead to 23-10, with 12:17 left to play.
Catawba would not go away, and with 6:52 left in the game, Mike Sheehan scored from four yards out, to cut the Rams lead to 23-17, setting up another dramatic ending for the WSSU Rams.
The Rams offense would methodically move the move on their series, using a much of the game clock as possible, using 4:33 seconds on a 10-play drive. The Rams would eventually settle for a 36 yards field goal attempt from Will Johnson, who this time missed, as the ball sail wide right, to keep the score at 23-17, with 2:12 remaining in the game.
Catawba would get the ball back on their own 20 yard line, trying to get to the end zone, before the clock struck zero.
Back to back completions, and with the help of a roughing the passer call on the Rams, the Indians moved into the Rams territory, leaving the WSSU fans on the edge of their seat for the second consecutive week.
But after two incompletions, Sheehan's third down pass was completed, but came up short of the first down, and on fourth down and one, he inexplicably rushed to the line and spiked the ball of fourth down, turning the ball over on downs to Winston-Salem State.
The WSSU Rams would kneel on the ball, and come away with the 23-17 win.
The Rams were led in rushing by Te'Vaughn Hurse, who finished with a game-high 103 yards and one touchdown. Xavier Quick had five carries for 48 yards, and Kerrion Moore finished with 10 carries for 44 yards. Justus Pickett had 10 carries for 19 yards.
Rod Tinsley had a solid night guiding the Rams, as he finished 12 of 18 passing for 142 yards and one touchdown. He had a long pass of 49 yards.
Reggie Wilkins led the Rams receiving corps, hauling in three catches for 42 yards and Demeeko Jones also had three catches for 27 yards. Canard Brown had two catches for 54 yards and one touchdown. Te'Vaughn Hurse also hauled in two catches. Will Walton and Xavier Quick each had one catch.
Defensively, WSSU was led by Braxton Daye, who finished with nine tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles and two quarterback hurries. Kailan Chavis had six tackles and two pass breakups, and CJ Washington, Daryus Skinner and PJ Clyburn each had five tackles. Clyburn also picked up a fumble recovery. Jarrell Bright finished with four tackles, and eight other Rams defenders had three tackles each.
Winston-Salem State will return home to Bowman Gray Stadium next week, as they will host the inaugural Winston-Salem Football Classic, featuring the Rams hosting the Virginia Union Panthers.