Winston-Salem State collected a much-needed division win over Johnson C. Smith on Saturday afternoon, 23-7. The win breathes some life into the Rams, now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
Neither team could get anything on the board in the first quarter. WSSU came in the second quarter swinging with a forced fumble and recovery on JCSU’s opening play, allowing redshirt senior qarterback Nalil Ramadan to launch a 30-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Darren Dowdwell for the 7-0 lead. JCSU forced a fumble on WSSU and recovered, but immediately coughed the ball up again. The Rams capitalized and took a 10-0 lead after a field goal to go into halftime.
JCSU put up the only points in the third quarter with a two-yard pass to the endzone to cut the trail to 10-7. The Rams responded with two touchdowns in the final quarter. A touchdown run from Quarderman Sloan followed by a 54-yard connection to redshirt junior receiver Jonathan Allen from sophomore quarterback Dominique Graves sealed the Rams’ 23-7 win and first conference win.
Storm after the calm
The Rams could not bask in their win long, unfortunately. As if almost three hours on the field is not enough, the teams found themselves active again in a post-game fight that allegedly ignited during the handshakes. The scene seemed to combust into several smaller, more heated scuffles on the sideline with players from both teams running amok. The live-stream captured players in every light possible from pulling teammates back, to checking their face for blood, to swinging helmets. Coaches from both JCSU and WSSU worked together alongside officials and security to attempt to quickly deescalate the situation; the teams were eventually separated after a few failed attempts.
Graves led the Rams in passing with 122 yards and a touchdown. Sloane led all rushers with 78 yards and a touchdown. WSSU will play host again and welcome newly-victorious Saint Augustine’s (1-5, 1-2) on Saturday at 1 PM.