CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State got 199 rushing yards from Te'Vaughn Hurse, as the Rams battled back in the final minutes to come away with a 15-14 win over Johnson C. Smith on Sunday at the Irwin Belk Complex on the campus of JCSU.
The win moves the Rams to 4-2 overall, 3-0 in the CIAA and 1-0 in the Southern Division, while the Golden Bulls fall to 1-5 overall, 1-2 in the CIAA and 0-1 in the Southern Division.
Winston-Salem State would take the opening kickoff, and meticulously drive down the field, 51 yards in a long 10 plays, before settling for a Will Johnson 38 yards field goal, to jump out in front, 3-0.
On their next possession, the Rams would get a big run from Te'Vaughn Hurse, who would bust through the middle of the defense and scamper 80 yards, before being tackled short of the goal line. After four consecutive plays inside the five, WSSU would come up short on fourth down and turn it over to Johnson C. Smith.
The WSSU defense would flex their muscles early, after allowing the Golden Bulls to go 72 yards in 14 plays and take 7:00 minutes off the clock, the Rams would hold JCSU on fourth down from the WSSU 27, giving the ball back to Rams offense.
But the series would only last two plays, as Rod Tinsley's pass was intercepted at the JC Smith 46 yard line.
But the WSSU would stand tall again, and would force a Golden Bull punt.
Winston-Salem State would once again look like they were finding a groove, as they picked up 40 yards in seven plays, but once again bogged down and were forced to punt.
The WSSU defense would look like they would come up with a big play, as CJ Washington would pick off the first down pass of JCSU, but would give the ball back when he fumbled on the return.
Late in the second quarter, the Rams would get another opportunity to get points on the board, as Rod Tinsley would hit Te'Vaughn Hurse in the flat, and Hurse would take it 39 yards into Golden Bull territory. Four plays later, Will Johnson would connect on his second field goal of the afternoon, and give WSSU a 6-0 lead headed into the locker room at halftime.
WSSU would look to gain control in the third quarter, as they would take almost three minutes off the clock, before settling for a 21 yard field goal from the leg of Will Johnson, and would surge in front 9-0.
Late in the quarter, JCSU would get on the board when Harold Herbin hooked up with Roderick Carter for a 63 yard scoring strike, cutting the Rams lead to 9-7.
Johnson C. Smith would seize the momentum, and with 14:52 left to play, would take the lead on a Herbin to Gabirel Yuille from 38 yards to take a 14-9 advantage.
But when the Rams needed it most on this Sunday afternoon, they would come up big. WSSU would go on one of their longest drives of the season – 85 yards in 18 plays, and with 3:17 left, would reclaim the lead on a Kerrion Moore one yard touchdown run, to go out in front 15-14.
The Winston-Salem State defense would up big when needed as well, and held the Golden Bulls on fourth down, to allow them to kneel and take the win.
Tinsley also finished the game going 12 of 28 with one interception, for 144 yards. Tinsley had a long pass of 39 yards.
Hurse also led WSSU in receiving, with three catches for 51 yards, while Canard Brown had two catches for 21 yards. Will Walton, Demeeko Jones, Reggie Wilkiins, William Belcher, Michael Benis and Kerrion Moore each had one catch.
Defensively, the Rams were led by PJ Clyburn, who finished with seven tackles, while De'Andre Blevins had five tackles and a pass breakup. Kyrell Williamson finished with four tackles, and Desmond Mason, Cameron Sullivan and Aaron Johnson each finished with three tackles. Cameron Sullivan also had one interception and three pass breakups. Eight different Rams had two tackles each, with Jarell Bright also finishing with one sack, one tackle for loss and one pass deflection. Joe Wright also had one sack and one tackle for loss, and CJ Washington also had an interception.
Winston-Salem State will return to Bowman Gray Stadium next week, as they celebrate Homecoming 2016, as they host the Falcons of St. Augustine's University at 1:30 p.m.