Maurice Lewis ran for 113 yards and one touchdown against Johnson C. Smith on Saturday. (Garrett Garms/WSSU photo)
For one half of football, Johnson C. Smith played Winston-Salem State as well as anyone has since its season-opening loss to UNC-Pembroke. JCSU took a three-point lead early in the second half before WSSU kicked it into another gear, winning 44-17 in front of over 15,000 fans inside Bowman Gray Stadium.
An Eric Amaya field goal put the Golden Bulls up 17-14 with 9:09 remaining in the third quarter, stunning the homecoming crowd. The Rams responded in a big way, scoring 30 unanswered points to win their fifth consecutive game.
Both teams started the game hot, scoring on their opening drives.The first half was pretty even overall, as the teams went into halftime tied at 14.
The big difference in the second half would be WSSU’s running game and pass rush. Winston-Salem State coach Connell Maynor said that emphasizing the running game was his plan for the second half. It worked out pretty well, as WSSU rushed for 293 yards.
“We thought we could run when we wanted to,” Maynor said. “We just needed to come out and execute and cut out the mistakes.”
Quarterback Rudy Johnson put in another solid performance, throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more. Like Maynor, he credited the team’s focus and attention to detail as the difference between the two halves.
“We just got our minds right, took it one play at a time,” he said. “We got a little ahead of ourselves early in the game, so we just had to take it one play at a time.”
Maurice Lewis ran for a game-high 113 yards, while Johnson added 88 on the ground to go with his 208 yards through the air.
WSSU’s defense was dominate against both the pass and the run, holding JCSU to -36 yards rushing and just 156 yards overall. It recorded seven sacks as a team, including two each by both Donnie Owens and Alfy Hill. JCSU quarterback Keahn Wallace threw for two touchdowns, but was limited to just 192 yards passing.
The Rams improve to 5-1, 3-0 in the CIAA. Johnson C. Smith drops to 4-2, 2-2 in the CIAA.