WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State University Rams fell behind early and the Virginia Union Panthers kept the Rams offense off balance all night, as the Panthers rolled to a 37-14 win in the inaugural Winston-Salem Classic.
With the loss the Winston-Salem State Rams fall to 1-2, while the Virginia union Panthers picked up their first win, with two losses.
Virginia Union opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, when Shawheem Dowdy connected with Jusse Yorke from 36 yards out to give the Panthers the early 7-0 lead.
The Panthers added to their score early in the second quarter when the duo of Dowdy and Yorke hooked up again for a score from five yards out, giving Virginia Union a 14-0 advantage.
Winston-Salem State would finally sustain a drive, giving the defense a much needed breather, as Rod Tinsley would find Canard Brown from eight yards away, to finish off a 12 play, 74 yard drive, to put the Rams on the board, and cut into the Panther lead, 14-7.
Virginia Union would not be done, as Williams Stanback would find the end zone two more times before the half, from 30 yards and six yards, to open up a commanding 27-7 halftime lead.
Early in the third quarter, WSSU would go on another long drive, 63 yards on 11 plays, and the drive would be capped off by a second Rod Tinsley to Canard Brown scoring play from five yard out, to cut the Virginia union lead to 27-14.
But on this warm and humid night, the Panthers found a groove, and would go on a 90 yard, seven play drive, and finished off with a third touchdown by William Stanback, who would find the end zone from four yards, to put the Panthers up comfortably, 34-14.
The final point of the night would come off the foot of VUU's Jean Claude Brooks, who would connect on a 44 yard field goal to give the Panthers a 37-14 lead, that they would hold onto until the final buzzer.
The Rams were led in rushing by quarterback, Rod Tinsley, who had eight rushed for 80 yards, while Kerrion Moore finished with six carries for 32 yards. Justus Pickett finished with 17 yards on four carries and Te'Vaughn Hurse had nine yards on eight carries.
Rod Tinsley finished the night with 235 yards passing, on 26 of 45 attempts with three interceptions with two touchdowns and long pass of 50 yards.
Canard Brown led the Rams receivers with seven catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Will Walton also had seven catches for 50 yards, and Quincy Jackson (33 yards) and Demeeko Jones (19 yards) each had three receptions. Te'Vaughn Hurse (16 yards) and William Belcher (6 yards) each finished with two catches, while Reggie William had one catch for 22 yards and Justus Pickett had one catch for three yards.
Jatavious Jackson, CJ Washington and Kailan Chavis all finished with seven tackles, with Chavis also picking up two tackles for loss. Daryus Skinner had four tackles and one tackle for loss, and five other Rams had three tackles each, with Kyrell Williamson also picking up a sack. Seven other WSSU defenders finished with two tackle each, with Sione Umufuke picking up a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Winston-Salem State will return to Bowman Gray Stadium next week, as the Rams will play host to the Trojans of Virginia State University. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00pm.