WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (2-4, 1-2 CIAA) put on a tremendous defensive performance to take a 23-7 win over the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls (2-4, 1-2 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams took the win behind a powerful defensive effort that included holding the Golden Bulls to just seven points and forcing four turnovers in the game.
While it was a great defensive effort that stole the headlines, the Rams also benefitted from a solid offense that took advantage of the defense's efforts. As a team, the Rams needed just 318 yards of total offense to claim the win as they held the Golden Bulls to just 118 yards of offense. WSSU sophomore quarterback Dominique Graves completed 11-of-16 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown while redshirt-senior Naiil Ramadan completed six-of-10 passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. WSSU junior running back Quardermane Sloan added 11 carries for 74 yards in the game as well. Senior tight end Darren Dowdell caught four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter of play, the Rams got on the scoreboard early in the game. The team took 7-0 lead when Dowdell caught a 30-yard pass from Ramadan that, along with the PAT kick, gave the Rams a 7-0 lead. The Rams added to the lead when freshman kicker Ivan Caro connected on a 26-yard field goal to go ahead 10-0. The Rams took the score into the locker at halftime.
The second half turned out to be a bit more exciting with both teams making big plays. The Rams found themselves challenged at the end of the third quarter when the team allowed a two-yard touchdown pass to the Golden Bulls. The ensuing PAT kick left the Rams on top, 10-7.
The fourth quarter was when the Rams really took things over with a pair of touchdowns. Sloane got things started with a seven-yard touchdown run. The missed PAT kick left the Rams on top, 16-7 with 7:27 left in the fourth quarter. The Rams put the game away when senior wide receiver Jonathan Allen caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Graves to pull away, 23-7.
Defensively, the Rams dominated the game, holding the Golden Bulls to just 54 rushing yards and 59 passing yards. WSSU sophomore linebacker Ta'Shaun Taylor led the way with eight total tackles (seven solo), including three tackles for a loss and a sack. He also had a fumble recovery. Cornerback Joshua Flowers had a career game with five total tackles and three interceptions and a pass breakup.
With the win, the Rams improve to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action, Saturday when they head to nearby High Point, N.C. to take on the Saint Augustine's Falcons in the Furniture City Grid Iron Classic at A.J. Simeon Stadium. For more information on Rams football, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.