Kameron Smith's Six Touchdown Passes Propel #2 WSSU Rams
The #2 ranked Winston-Salem State University Rams remained unbeaten and on their DII Championship hunt with an impressive 62-31 win over the Shaw University Bears, Saturday afternoon in Durham, NC.
It wouldn't take the Rams (9-0, 6-0) long to get on the scoreboard, as the defense held Shaw (4-5, 3-3) to just two plays, as Darryl Pulliam picked off the Bears quarterback and Kameron Smith directed the WSSU offense straight to the endzone in just three plays, taking just 1:00 to find paydirt. Smith rushed from 11 yards out to score, but the PAT attempt was blocked, giving the Rams an early 6-0 lead.
After holding Shaw on their series, the Rams would get the ball back and marched down field with a solid mix of running by Patrick Mputu, and on the arm of Kameron Smith. On the drive Smith would connect with Jamal Williams twice and Jahuann Butler four times, and the last connection was converted into a 19 touchdown as Butler's nifty footwork got him past the Shaw Bear defenders as he cross the goal line. The PAT put WSSU up 13-0.
Shaw would use their next possession to settle down and use some clock as they had a successful drive going sparked by Antonio Dunn's 51 yard run.
But the defensive play of the day for WSSU happened on the same play, as Curtis McGill would come from the opposite side of the field and run down Dunn as the WSSU two yard line. The Rams' defensive would stand tall and forced a Shaw field goal attempt that sailed wide right.
Winston-Salem State was stymied on the next series and was forced to punt.
Shaw would get on the board before the end of the quarter as they went 45 yards in seven plays capped by an Antonio Dunn two yard run, pulling to within 6 at 13-7.
It wouldn't take long for a WSSU answer as Kameron Smith capped a short three play drive with a 67 yard scoring strike to Jameze Massey, who used his speed to juke the Shaw defense and split the middle out running the pursuit as he scored.
Less than a minute later, WSSU had the ball back and was on another scoring drive, as this time Kameron Smith hooked up with Jamie DeGeare for a five yard touchdown pass. The PAT was blocked and returned for a defensive PAT giving WSSU as 26-9 lead.
Three minute later, WSSU was knocking on the door again, and this time Kameron Smith would hook up with Jamal Williams for a touchdown and two point conversion, pushing the WSSU lead to 34-9.
Shaw would move the ball down field on their next possession, but on first down from the Rams' 45, WSSU defensive captain, Carlos Field would strip the pass receiver and Duvontae Covington would pounce on the ball for WSSU.
Back in business once again, the red-hot Rams offensive unit would methodically move the ball up the field, highlighted by a Kameron Smith to Tehvyn Brantley 29 yard reception. Two plays later Smith would find Jahuann Butler for the second time for a 19 yard touchdown reception. A good PAT by Alejandro Suarez gave WSSU a massive 41-9 advantage heading into halftime.
Winston-Salem State would come out firing on all cylinders again as the second half began as the Rams wasted no time finding the endzone, as Brandon McDonald would score from three yards out. The highlights of the drive were 21yard passes from Kameron Smith to Jamal Williams and to Jahuann Butler.
The Shaw Bears would answer right back with a score of their own when James Stallons would connect with nick Jones for a five yard touchdown pass, cutting into the WSSU lead at 48-15.
Neither team would be able to sustain a drive over the next few series, but Winston-Salem State would get the ball back late in the quarter, and the quick striking offense matriculated quickly upt he field to score. First Kameron Smith would hook up with Jahuann Butler for 43 yards, before Smith would find Tehvyn Brantley from 22 yards out for a touchdown. The PAT gave WSSU a 55-15 lead.
Shaw U would go on a long seven play, 88 yard drive on their next possession, and scored on a 50 yard touchdown pass to Ta'juan Brown, as the WSSU second team defense gave up the long score.
Anthony Carrothers would lead the next Ram drive, and he took the WSSU second team unit on a long 10 play, 65 yard drive that would take 6:11 off of the clock in the final period. On third down and 11 from the Shaw 12, Carrothers would find DeQuann Leak on a swing pass and Leak would find the sideline and score for a 62-23 advantage.
Shaw would score one last time late for the final score of 62-31.
Offensively for Winston-Salem State, Kameron Smith led the rushing attack with 36 yards on seven carries and one touchdown, while Brandon McDonald carried it 12 times for 29 yards and a score. Robert Moore rushed for 21 yards on two carries and Ricky Rozier and DeQuann Leak each picked up 15 yards.
Kameron Smith had a career day in passing yards, as his career high 363 yards and six touchdown passes on 23 of 36 passing led the Rams. Anthony Carrothers went two for two for nine yards and a score.
Jahuann Butler led the Rams receiving attack, as he hauled in eight catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns, while Jamal Williams had five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Jameze Massey had three catches for 114 yards and one touchdown, and Tehvyn Brantley also hauled in three catches on the afternoon for 55 yards and a score. Brandon McDonald had two catches, while DeQuann Leak, Patrick Mputu, Jamie DeGeare and Kenny Patterson each had one catch. DeGeare had a five yard touchdown catch on the day.
Defensively for the Rams, Carlos Fields paced the way with nine tackles and a forced fumble, while Curtis McGill, Matthew Browning and Daniel Mungin each had five tackles. Browning and Mungin also had one sack each. Casey Davenport finished with four tackles and five others had three tackles each. Khendra Reid also had a sack. Darryl Pulliam had WSSU's only interception on the day.
Landen Thayer punted four times for WSSU, averaging 45.8 yards per punt with a one of 56 yards and one downed inside the 20 yard line.
With today's win the Rams clinched the CIAA's Southern Division, and will face Elizabeth City State on November 10th at Durham's County Stadium, in a rematch of last season's Championship Game.