A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Eagles Soar Over The Rams
WINSTON-SALEM, NC — It seems that the Rams of WSSU can’t handle success for too long. After going 4-0 in the CIAA and a chance to stay within a game of St Augustine in the CIAA Western conference, the WSSU Rams allowed “deja vu” to strike once again.
The Eagles of NC Central used a late drive once again to defeat the Rams 20-17 despite total domination on both sides of the ball by the Rams.
It seem as though the Rams were going to “run”(literally) with the game early as they came out running the ball with lots of success in the first quarter. The Rams took the opening drive down the field on an impressive six play, 65 yard drive that was capped by a 18 yard run by Martin Hicks to put the Rams up early 7-0.
Following a stalled North Carolina Central drive, the Rams once again used their running game to build a two touchdown lead as Hicks scored his second touchdown of the game on a six-yard touchdown run that closed a six-play, 72-yard drive that used 3:24 off of the clock giving the Rams a solid 14-0 lead still in the first quarter.
The Eagles made it a game quickly as they cut the Rams lead to 7 as rb Greg Pruitt slammed into the endzone finishing a 10 play, 75 yard drive to make the score 14-7.
The two teams would then trade a pair of second-quarter field goals, a 44-yarder from Hind for the Rams, and a career-best 46-yarder for NCCU’s Brandon Gilbert as the two rivals headed to the locker room at the half with WSSU holding a 17-10 lead.
The second half was a battle of “bend but don’t break” defenses as both teams had drives that consume time but no points which is probably where WSSU lost the game.
They many opportunities, forced turnovers and had good field position, but coach Kermit Blount and his Rams could not take advantage of the opportunities.
The Eagles finally broke thru witha field goal to cut the lead to 17-13 going into the 4th quarter. The game would come down to an important fourth quarter drive which saw the Rams make a key mistake that proved costly to the game’s final outcome.
On fourth down and two, the Rams’ Quentin Jones, jumped offsides, his second offsides penalty of the evening, giving the Eagles a first down via penalty.
That costly penalty enabled the Eagles to have new life, a life which they used to earn the win when Adrian Warren found Brad Hinton in the back of the endzone for the game-winning touchdown on third and goal from the WSSU 22-yard line making the score 20-17 with only 1:38 remaining in the contest.
The Rams had one last chance with the ball as they got a great kickoff return from Tionti Powell of 31 yards to set-up what Rams fans were hoping would be the winning drive.
Unfortunately, the Rams were unable to convert a final 4 and 4 and the Eagles took the ball over on downs and ran out the rest of the clock and another victory and making the final score 20-17.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 4-4 overall and more importantly fall to 4-1 in the CIAA. The Eagles improve to 7-1 overall and move to 4-1 in the CIAA as they now hold the tie-breaker advantage over WSSU in the CIAA Western Division title race.
The Rams return to action on Saturday, October 22nd, at 6:00 pm as they play host to the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith University at Bowman Gray Stadium.