FAYETTEVILLE, NC – Winston-Salem State rode the back of sophomore running back, Kerrion Moore, who finished the day with 259 all-purpose yards, and the defense rose to the occasion in the second half, as the Rams came away with a 28-21 road win over Fayetteville State at Luther "Nick Jeralds Stadium.
After a scoreless and defensive first quarter, Winston-Salem State would finally break the scoreless tie with 1:04 left before halftime, when Rod Tinsley would find an open Anthony Rook in the back of the endzone, for a 15 yard touchdown pass and catch to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.
The FSU Broncos would not waste any time in answering the Rams score, as Brian Walker would return the kickoff 99 yards for a score to tie the game with 45 seconds remaining before the half.
WSSU would begin their drive with just 37 seconds left before halftime, and on the first play, Rod Tinsley would find an open Demeeko Jones down the middle for a 42 yard completion. Two plays later, Tinsley would find Canard Brown in the corner of the endzone for a 33 yard touchdown, to give the Rams a 14-7 advantage heading into the locker room at the half.
Coming out for the second half, the Fayetteville State Broncos, marched down the field in nine plays, covering 33 yards, before stalling and settling for a 27 yard David Lamb field goal, to cut the WSSU lead to 14-10.
The Rams would regroup and with 4:36 left in the third quarter, Rod Tinsley would hook up with Kerrion Moore for the play of the game. Tinsley would hit Moore on a crossing route, and Kerrion Moore would do the rest. Moore raced up the right sideline, hurdling a Bronco defender, and finishing off the pass 70 yards later with a touchdown, moving the Rams to a 21-10 lead.
But on this day, in a rivalry game, it's never over until the clock hits triple zeros. The FSU Broncos would march down the field and with 2:23 left to play, DeMarius Davis would find Marquez Beeks for an eight yard touchdown pass, to cut the lead to 28-18.
The Broncos would attempt and recover the ensuing onside kick, and with 59 second left, David Lamb would hit a 25 yard field goal to cut the lead to 28-21.
FSU would attempt a second onside kick, but this time, the Broncos would be called for illegal touching, as they recovered the ball before it went ten yards, giving the ball to the Rams, and allowing them to run out the clock for the 28-21 win.
Kerrion Moore had his best day ever at WSSU, as he finished the game with 122 rushing yards on 19 carries, and Justus Pickett ran for 45 yards on nine carries with one touchdown. Rod Tinsley rushed five times for 25 yards and Xavier Quick also rushed five times for 16 yards.
Kerrion Moore led the Rams receivers with seven catches for 116 yards and one ESPN Top Ten touchdown pass and catch. Moore caught a crossing pass, and hurdled a Bronco defender and raced 70 yards for a touchdown down the right sideline. Demeeko Jones finished with three catches for 45 yards, and Canard Brown had two catches for 40 yards and one touchdown. Anthony Rook finished with three catches for 30 yards and one touchdown. Quincy Jackson (18 yds), and Michael Benis (2 yds) each finished with one catch.
Cameron Sullivan led the Ram defenders with 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss, and Jarrell Bright had nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. Jayron Rankin had an outstanding day, finishing with eight tackles, two tackles for a loss and an interception. Braxton Daye seven tackles and 0.5 tackle for a loss, while Tyrell Flemming had five tackles, Xavier Gregory also had five tackles 1.5 tackles for a loss and one tackle and one pass breakup. PJ Clyburn also picked up five tackles and De'Andre Blevins had four tackles, as did Amyl Smith and Jack Nimmons. Smiht also picked up 0.5 sack and 0.5 tackles for a loss.
Winston-Salem State will immediately turn their attention to the CIAA Championship Game, and its opponent, Bowie State University. Bowie State defeated Elizabeth City State, 56-7 on Saturday to secure the Northern Division.
WSSU and Bowie State will compete for the CIAA Championship crown on Saturday, November 12th, at Salem Stadium in Salem, VA. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00pm, and the game will air nationwide on the ASPiRE Network.