PEMBROKE, NC – The Winston-Salem State University Rams jumped on the back of running back Kerrion Moore, who finished with 19 carries for 230 yards and three touchdowns, as the Rams held off the #19 UNC Pembroke Braves, 34-31 Thursday afternoon at Grace P. Johnson Stadium.
The game time was moved up to 3:00pm due to impending thunderstorms that are expected to consume much of North Carolina over the next three days as both the remnants of Hurricane Harvey enter the area.
The Rams were able to score again in the first quarter, as Farrell Murchinson crossed the goalline from 3 yards out, to take a 14-0 first quarter advantage.
Coming out for the second half would be key for both teams, as the Rams looked to put the finishing touches on the Braves.
UNCP would score first in the second half, as JoJo Spann would score on a Dominick Samson pass and catch from four yards out, to cut the Rams advantage to 20-7.
The Braves would get another score off of a gift from the Rams, as on fourth down, the snapper snapped the ball over the punters head into the endzone, where Jordan Howard scooped up the ball for a touchdown. The extra point would be blocked by WSSU, to make the score 20-13.
Winston-Salem State would make good on their next possession, as they would go 65 yards in 10 plays, and would cap off the drive with a Kerrion Moore one yard run, Moore's second of the game, to go ahead 27-13.
With 12:49 left in the game, UNCP would connect on a 38 yard field goal to get closer, 27-16.
After holding the Rams on their next possession, the Braves Jo Leake would score from on an 18 yard run, to make the Rams fans nervous, and make the score 27-26.
But the WSSU Rams would ride on the back on Kerrion Moore once again, as Moore would take the handoff and race 59 yards on the left side, to give the Rams a 34-24 lead with just under 6 minutes left to play.
The Braves would get another opportunity to get closer, as EJ Williams, th4e WSSU transfer, would find the endzone from six yards out on a pass from Dominick Samson, and after the two point conversion, pulled to within three points at 34-31.
The Rams would look to salt the game away, but on fourth down and a bad snap, the WSSU punters knee would touch down to give the ball back to UNCP with under a minute to play at mid field.
But the Rams defense would come through when needed, and would stop the Braves on three straight incompletions to run out the clock and take the long hard win, 34-31.
WSSU would gain 278 yards rushing on 44 attempts, while the Braves managed just 28 yards on 28 carries. Kerrion Moore was the big man for the Rams all night, as he gained 230 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.
Rod Tinsley completed six passes on 18 attempts with an interception for 158 yards and one touchdown. UNCP completed 27 of 40 passes for 209 yards and two scores.
Canard Brown caught three passes for 125 yards and one touchdown for the WSSU Rams.
Kyrell Williamson led the Rams on defense, finishing the game with 11 tackles, ½ sack and two tackles for a loss. Daryus Skinner had nine tackles and Kailan Chavis finished with seven tackles. Tyron Roberts and Patrick Green each ha five tackles, 1 sack and one tackle for a loss.
The WSSU Rams will host the Bowie State Bulldogs at 4:00pm next week in the home opener, and the game will be streamed on ESPN3.com.