WINSTON-SALEM STATE TAKES CIAA CROWN WITH 38-18 WIN OVER ECSU
Nov. 13, 2011
DURHAM, NC-Winston-Salem State University scored two fourth quarter touchdowns and added a team safety for insurance as the Rams topped the Elizabeth City State University Vikings 38-18 Saturday afternoon at Durham County Stadium.
The Rams defeat ECSU for the second time this season hold the Viking to a season low 210 yards of total offense. The loss also snaps the Vikings' eight game win streak which began after they dropped a 22-17 decision to Rams back on September 3rd in Elizabeth City.
WSSU made good on their first two drives of the afternoon; the first ended with a 27 yard field goal by Landen Thayer. The next yielded an 11 play, 84 yard drive capped by a 9-yard pass from Kameron Smith to Tehvyn Brantley and the Rams held a 10-0 lead as the opening quarter expired.
The Vikings got on the board early in the second quarter after an interception by William Davis gave ECSU the ball on Ram territory and Daronte McNeill rushed in from 2-yards out with 12:25 to go in the half. The extra point was missed, which would signal the first of a few special teams' miscues on the afternoon. The Rams held onto that 10-6 lead at the intermission.
It took WSSU only 31 seconds into the third quarter to get score their next points. The Rams executed a reverse that went for 63 yards down to the Viking 6 yards line. On the next play Nicholas Cooper scored the first of his three touchdowns from a yard out the Rams extended their lead to 17-6.
On the ensuing possession ECSU orchestrated a drive all the way to the Ram 15 but it halted when Creven Powell was sacked, fumbling the ball which was scooped and returned 64 yards the opposite direction.
After an illegal block on the fumble return put the ball on the Viking 7, two plays later Cooper went for his second score of the day with 10:23 left in the third. The Vikings opened the fourth by capping an 8 play, 61 yard drive on a 14 yard pass play from Powell to Billy Wiggins. The two point attempt failed making the score 24-12 in favor of WSSU. ECSU (8-3) pulled within a score after a fumble on the Ram's ensuing drive gave the Vikings the ball and McNeill broke for a 52 yard touchdown sprint. However like the two scores before, the Vikings could not make good on the extra point attempt, but trailed 24-18.
The Rams deflated ECSU's rally hopes on their next drive going 70 yards on 9 plays for another score and a 30-18 lead. When the Vikings' ensuing drive stalled a bad snap on the punt attempt was kicked through the back of the Rams end zone for a WSSU safety making the score 32-18. The Rams tacked on another score with 1:23 left in the game to solidify the win and the title.
McNeill and Cooper, the conference's All-CIAA First Team running backs, were their team's respective MVPs in Saturday's contest. Copper went for 163 yards on 24 carries while McNeill finished with 26 carries for 147 yards.