A&T Gets Trampled By WSSU 28-7

By L.A. Batchelor
Updated: September 2, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Once again the I-40 Showdown between North Carolina A&T and Winston Salem State University took place but this time at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem. Different venue, same result.

Jed Bines returned to WSSU in great fashion after not playing for one season as the Rams D led by Thadeus Griffin stymied the Aggie offense and WSSU trampled A&T 28-7 in front of a packed house in Winston Salem.

In the first quarter, The Aggies looked like a team determine to upset the home crowd. A&T moved the ball early against the studs on WSSU’s defense but an interception thrown by Aggie quarterback Herbert Miller stopped momentum and the drive for The Aggies.

The Rams quickly took advantage of the turnover using it to score first. WSSU quarterback Monte Purvis took the offense on a quick 23-yard drive finishing when Purvis ran the ball in the end zone from a yard out for the touch down giving WSSU a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

After stopping the Aggies on a couple of possessions, The Rams went back to work on offense. Purvis was sharp in his passing and Bines was tough in his running.

WSSU took the ball down the field on an eight play, 91-yard drive finishing with Purvis hitting redshirt sophomore Bryant Bayne on a 13-yard slant into the end zone for another touchdown making the score 14-0 Rams. B oth defenses played well and the halftime score remained 14-0

In the second half, WSSU’s defense went to work putting the offense in good positions on the field. With NFL scouts in attendance, linebacker Thadeus Griffin pulled down his second interception of the game and of his career setting the Rams up for a score on their next possession.

After a few unsuccessful plays, The Rams running game finally found a break through. Brandon McCrae showed his talent and speed and got in the scoring column, running 30 yards for a touchdown making the score 21-0 early in the third quarter.

The Aggies continued to play hard, especially on the defensive side of the ball. After WSSU’s defense stopped the A&T offense once again, The Rams finally made a mistake that proved costly.

The Aggies punted the ball, but the Rams fumbled it back to A&T setting up great field position for the Aggie offense. Miller picked the right time to throw his first career touchdown pass hitting senior wideout Curtis Walls to make it 21-7 with just over seven minutes to go in the third quarter.

The touchdown seemed to wake up A&T as they grounded out yards on the ground and shut down WSSU’s offense for the rest of the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Aggies self-destructed once again. After driving the ball down the field, Miller went from hero to goat in one pass. Attempting to hit a receiver in the end zone, Miller was intercepted by Reginald Thomas for a touch back.

The Rams once again went to work after an Aggie turnover. A 33-yard run by Purvis combined with a 15-yard personal foul face mask call against the Aggies, gave WSSU the ball at A&T’s 28-yard line.

Purvis then hit wideout Brent Thomas on a 28 yard strike in the end zone and The Rams took a commanding 28-7 lead with about 13 minutes remaining.

Once again, both team defenses played well the remainder of the half and the game but the end the end, The Rams were too much for The Aggies on both sides of the ball as WSSU won easily 28-7.

The Aggies were led by Walls on offense and Andre Thornton of defense. Walls ran the ball three times for 31 yards and a touchdown while Thornton had 12 tackles, including nine solo.

The Rams were led by three players on offense. Purvis was 9 of 15 for 96 yards and two touchdowns passing and one touchdown running. Welcome back running back, Jed Bines! Bines made Ram fans happy running the ball 16 times for 127 yards.

McCrae contributed 86 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Defensively, Griffin was active and all over the field with 10 tackles (eight solos) and two huge interceptions that eventually led to scores for WSSU.

Walls and Thornton were Offensive and Defensive Players of the Game respectively for A&T while Bines and Griffin were Offensive and Defensive players of the game for WSSU.

With the win, The Rams move their record to 1-0, while The Aggies drop to 0-1 and lose the I-40 Showdown for the second consecutive season.

The Aggies will try to redeem themselves and get into the win column as they travel to California to face Prairie View in the Angel City Classic while The Rams look to continue their winning ways as they travel to Conway, S.C. to face Coastal Carolina.