Rams head to CIAA title game with win over Fayetteville State

Rams head to CIAA title game with win over Fayetteville State
November 12
00:00 2015

In above photo: Winston-Salem State University’s No. 5, Tyree Massey, is free to make his moves on the field against Fayetteville State University on Saturday, Nov. 7. (WSSU photo)

Special to the Chronicle

The Winston-Salem State Rams got a late field goal and a key interception to seal the game with 28 seconds left, to hold off the Fayetteville State Broncos, 24-22 in the game at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday.

With the win, Winston-Salem State improves  to 5-5 overall, 5-2 in the CIAA and 4-1 in the Southern Division, while the Fayetteville State falls to 4-6 overall, 4-3 in the CIAA and 2-3 in the Southern Division.

Winston-Salem State put the first points on the board when Tyree Massey capped a five play, 47- yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run. Will Johnson added the PAT to give the Rams an early 7-0 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, WSSU reached the end zone for a second time. Winston-Salem State took 5:20 off the clock with a 72 yard, nine-play drive that finished off with a Xavier quick five-yard touchdown run, giving WSSU a 14-0 advantage.

The Rams defense was strong in the first half, with a solid pass rush and a suffocating run-stopping defense, and another Bronco series would come up short, giving the ball back to WSSU.

But Rod Tinsley Jr dropped back and overthrew his receiver, and the ball was picked off and returned 30 yards for a Fayetteville State touchdown. The PAT missed, giving WSSU a 14-6 lead.

WSSU answered right back, first with a 58-yard kickoff return from Sidney Lawson, with an extra 15 yards tacked on due to a personal foul call on FSU.

On the fourth play of the drive, Tyree Massey scoreed for the second time in the afternoon, this time from six yards out, and with the PAT, the Rams took a 21-6 lead into the locker room at the half.

Fayetteville State cut into the Rams’ lead with 9:07 in the third, when Matthew Trau connected on a 33-yard field goal for the only score of the quarter, cutting the score to 21-9

The Broncos kept applying pressure in the fourth when Derek Bryant found Chris Hubert for a 73-yard touchdown, cutting the WSSU lead to 21-15.

But WSSU would not give in, putting together their longest drive of the day, a 62-yard, 13-play drive that would take off an important, 5:03 seconds off the game clock. A 37-yard field goal from Will Johnson pushed the Rams back out to a nine points lead, 24-15 with 5:07 left to play.

FSU’s Derek Bryant found Chris Hubert to cap a 10-play, 64-yard drive, with a six-yard scoring pass. Hubert made the catch on 4th down with 1:40 left to play.

Fayetteville State attempted an onside kick, their first of the season, and it paid off for the visiting team, as the ball kicked off a Ram on the front line and bounced right into a Bronco player’s hands, giving FSU the ball with 1:38 left.

But as well as the Rams defense played all day, they would save their best for when it counted most. On third down, Derek Bryant had his pass intercepted at the WSSU 48 by Kyrell Williamson, who would return it 14 yards to secure the WSSU Rams fifth consecutive Southern Division Title.

WSSU finished the game with 246 yards of total offense, (188 rushing and 58 passing), while Fayetteville State finished with 307 yards (187 rushing, 120 passing).

Tyree Massey led the Rams’ rushing attack, with 17 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns, while Xavier Quick rushed 11 times for 49 yards and one score. William Belcher had one carry for 24 yards, while Rod Tinsley Jr finished with five carries for 18 yards. Kerrion Moore had four carries for seven yards.

Rod Tinsley finished the day going four of 15 with one interception for 48 yards.

Five different WSSU receivers all finished with one catch apiece: Rashan Williams (22 yards), Marcel Caver Jr (12 yards), Bronson Greene (10 yards), Tyree Massey (7 yards) and Trey Foggie (7 yards).

Will Johnson punted seven times for an average of 41.9 yards per punt. Johnson had a long punt of 60 yards, while dropping two inside the 20 yard line. He was also one of one on field goals.

Defensively, WSSU was led by Michael Bloomfield, who had a team high seven tackles, one and a half sacks and one and half tackles for loss to go with one quarterback hurry. Jerrell Priester had six tackles and Michael Douglas finished with five tackles. Tyron Roberts added four tackles and a tackle for a loss, while Xavier Gregory and Kailan Chavis had three tackles each. Chavis Also added two tackles for a loss. Amyl Smith added a half a sack and half a tackle for a loss, and Albert McLean added a sack and a tackle for a loss. Kyrell Williamson had an interception to seal the game.

Winston-Salem State will take on the Bulldogs of Bowie State University next Saturday at Durham County Stadium for the CIAA Championship. Kickoff is scheduled for 2: p.m.

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