Sept. 15, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem State University football team will return to action on Saturday evening at Bowman Gray Stadium as they play host to Chowan University in the Rams’ first true home game of the 2010 season. The undefeated Rams (3-0, 1-0 CIAA) will play host to the winless Hawks of Chowan (0-2, 0-0 CIAA).
The Rams head into week four of the 2010 season on a high after last Saturday’s come-from-behind 34-27 victory over the rival Eagles of North Carolina Central University at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium in Durham, N.C. in the 44th meeting between the two teams. The win marked the Rams’ third straight victory and improved WSSU to a perfect 3-0 in 2010 including moving the Rams to 2-0 against Division I opponents. WSSU will return to action on Saturday evening as they face the Hawks of Chowan University in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m.
The contest is the fourth game of the season for the Rams while the Hawks will kickoff the third game of their 2010 campaign. The Rams head into the contest on a three-game win streak and have yet to lose a contest this season. Conversely, the Hawks enter into the contest riding a two-game losing streak and have yet to win a game this season.
Saturday’s game will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The game is the Rams’ “Hall of Fame Game” as WSSU honors the 2010 C.E. “Big House” Gaines Hall of Fame induction class as eight individuals along with the 2000 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Champion Rams football team will take their place among the WSSU greats. The individual inductees will be inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 17 at the Grand Pavilion Ballroom located at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Winston-Salem, N.C. and will be honored at halftime of the Winston-Salem State versus Chowan football game on Saturday, Sept. 18.
A Quick Look
The Rams sport an entirely new look. Under the leadership of first-year head coach Connell Maynor the Rams look nothing like the 2009 team that posted a disappointing 1-10 record. The Rams welcome the services of 14 first-class freshman recruits and an entirely new coaching staff with the exception of defensive line coach Mike Ketchum who is the only holdover from last season’s staff.
With a stable of four exceptional quarterbacks, junior UMass transfer Octavius Hawkins’ and U.S. Naval Academy transfer Kameron Smith have both seen considerable time at quarterback for WSSU. Hawkins, a big, strong pock- et passer who can make all the throws, turned in a stellar performance versus Virginia Union as he completed 18 of 23 passes for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Kameron Smith performed superbly in come-from-behind victories over both North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central in which he passed for totals of 356 yards and six touchdowns and has rushed for 120 net yards and one score.
A bevy of talented wideouts led by junior Dominique Fitzgerald and freshman Tehvyn Brantley have recorded 174 and 260 yards receiving respectfully and have caught five touchdown passes. Nic Cooper has tallied 218 rushing yards and a pair of scores and Kayvonne Spriggs has recorded 85 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown.
There is no local, regional, or national television coverage for the Rams’ contest versus the Hawks. Highlights of the game will be made available to the local media immediately following the game. To obtain footage and highlights, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations.
The Rams On TV
Over the past seven seasons the WSSU football team has appeared on television 11 times and the Rams have posted a 6-5 mark while doing so. The Rams’ were featured on television twice last season as WSSU dropped a 19-10 decision to North Carolina A&T on Sept. 5 in a contest shown on Time Warner Cable and WSSU dropped a 34-10 decision to Florida A&M on Sept. 10 on ESPNU. This season the Rams will close the regular season with a televised contest at Shaw on Oct. 30 at 1:00 p.m.
There is no WSSU radio for the contest between the Rams and the Hawks.
There is no Chowan radio for the contest between the Rams and the Hawks.
Live Statistical Broadcast
A live statistical broadcast of the game, utilizing CBS College Sport’s Gametracker statistical software will be available on the Official Website of WSSU Athletics at WSSURams.com. Fans may access the live stats by visiting the WSSU football schedule page and clicking on the Gametracker link.
Saturday’s contest is slated to be played in good weather as the forecast calls for high temperatures of 82° with a low of 62° with a 10 percent chance of precipitation under clear skies. Humidity is slated to be 60 percent with winds out of the northeast at six miles per hour with a UV index of eight (very high). Sunrise will take place at 7:06 a.m. ET and will set at 7:24 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s contest will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. WSSU has never faced the Hawks in any sport.
The Rams are coached by first-year man Connell Maynor, a veteran of more than 20 years of football experience both as a player and coach - and most recently as the offensive architect of the 2009 CIAA Champion Fayetteville State University Broncos offense, serving as both Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach - who was named the eighth head football coach at Winston-Salem State University on Dec. 15, 2009. Maynor won his third game as a college head coach last weekend in a 34-27 victory over the Eagles of North Carolina Central University. Maynor is currently a perfect 3-0 as a head coach.
The Hawks are coached by Tim Place who is in his third year as Chowan’s head football coach. Place has posted a career coaching mark of 15-29 overall (4-18 at Chowan) and has never faced WSSU head coach Connell Maynor.
The Rams and Hawks are not ranked in either of the major, national polls. However, the Rams are receiving votes in both the AFCA Poll and the D2Football.com poll.
The 2009 season was the 68th in Winston-Salem State University history. Through 68-plus years of play, WSSU owns a 357-286-25 (.532) record.
Winston-Salem State University’s Department of Athletics abides by HIPAA, a federal privacy act with regard to the release of injury information. WSSU athletes are required to sign a waiver before injury information is released to the media. If the athlete chooses to withhold that information, WSSU officials will be restricted to in- forming media members of their playing status (playing, probable, doubtful or out). For detailed injury information, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143.
The 2009 football season was one full of trials and tribulations for the Rams of Winston-Salem State University. Despite posting a 1-10 overall record, the Rams were successful both on the field and off as WSSU completed the 68th season of football at the history-laden HBCU. The Rams posted successes on the field, as a youthful and talent-laden roster gained another year of invaluable college football experience, and off as those same Rams gave back over 300 total hours of community service back to the Piedmont Triad region as the football pro- gram continues to embody the University’s “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” mantra.
The 2009 season was the 68th season in Winston-Salem State University football history. Through 68 years of play, WSSU owns a 357-286-25 (.532) record.
A Quick Look At The Rams
• The Rams have scored 102 points in three games (34 ppg) and have nearly equaled their point total from a season ago where they played 11 games and scored 138 total points.
• WSSU followed up their week one domination of Virginia Union (47-13) with a pair of come-from-behind victories over North Carolina A&T State University (21-14) on the road in Greensboro, N.C. and over North Carolina Central (34-27) on the road in Durham, N.C.
Cooper Rolling Along
Running back Nicholas Cooper has picked up right where he left off at the end of the 2008 season. Following a season off in 2009 to concentrate on academics, Cooper has returned to form. Cooper carried the ball 20 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns versus the Panthers of Virginia Union and carried the ball 15 times for 57 yards against Division I-FCS North Carolina A&T. He continued last weekend with 14 carries for 88 yards versus Division I opponent North Carolina Central. Cooper is averaging 72.7 yards per game in 2010.
Brantley Making Noise
True freshman wide receiver Tehvyn Brantley is leading the team in receiving with 15 catches for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Brantley is averaging an astounding 18.7 yards per catch and 93.3 yards receiving per game.
Five Touchdown Passes
Quarterback Kameron Smith threw for five touchdown passes last weekend in the Rams’ victory over North Carolina Central. Smith completed 18 of his 29 passes for 294 yards and five scores. Despite only playing in to college games, Smith has thrown for six touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception.
WSSU sophomore kicker Landen Thayer has yet to miss a field goal this season. Thayer is a perfect four-for-four on field goal attempts and has connected on 10 of his 12 PAT’s.
The Rams have earned 58 first downs in 2010 and are nearly even in rushing and passing first downs. WSSU has earned 29 rushing first downs and 24 passing first downs as well as earning five first downs via penalty.