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Nov. 13. 2006
The News Argus
upset, win 13-3
Steven J. Gaither
Late in the third quarter, Winston-Salem
State defensive end William Hayes blew past
the right tackle and batted a pass in the air,
only to watch Hampton quarterback T.J.
Mitchell catch the football and fall forward two
It was just that kind of game for the Rams
(4-6) as they fell 13-3 to Hampton (9-1) at
Armstrong Stadium in Hampton, Va., on Oct.
28. Every time it seemed the Rams were about
to make a big play, they came up just short.
"Offensively, on every drive we made mis
takes at crucial points," said head coach
Those mistakes included two failed fourth-
down attempts in the red zone and a Monte
Purvis interception from the Hampton's 9-yard
line. The Rams also struggled on third-down,
Hampton struck first, nickel-and-diming the
defense down the field, where Mitchell hit
receiver Marquay McDaniel with a 12-yard
touchdown strike. Andrew Patemi's extra
point made the score 7-0.
Despite the effectiveness of the Rams run
ning game, WSSU was unable to put the ball
in the end zone. Twice the Rams got inside the
Hampton 10-yard line but failed to score, los
ing a yard on fourth-and-one and throwing an
interception to Hampton comerback Travarous
Even as the offense sputtered, the defense
held the vaunted Pirates offense to largely in
check. Pinned inside their own five-yard line
with just under a minute left, the Rams were
forced to punt, giving the Pirates great field
position. Hampton gladly took advantage,
using two completions from Mitchell to
McDaniels to set up a 25-yard Patemi field-
goal with tive seconds to go in the half, mak
ing the score 10-0 at intermission.
In the second-half, the Pirates used their run
ning game to secure their victory. After adding
another Patemi field goal and going up 13-0,
Hampton running back Alonzo Coleman
entered the backfield. Coleman, a three-time
1,000-yard rusher, came into the game needing
just 90 yards to become the MEAC all-time
leading rusher. After missing the first half, he
needed just 10 carries to break the record.
Coleman finished with 91 yards, breaking the
record with about two minutes to go in the
fourth quarter. Coleman now holds conference
records for yards (4,144), touchdowns (57), and
"It's great any time you can break a record
and get a win," Coleman said afterwards.
Despite Coleman's record-breaking perform
ance, the Rams actually out gained the Pirates,
202-192. The Rams were led by Brandon
McRae, who gained 99 yards on 15 carries.
The Rams only points of the afliemoon came
courtesy of a 36-yard Chad Oakley field goal
with 6:38 left in the fourth quarter. But it was
too little, too late as the Pirates milked the
clock, allowing the Rams only one more pos
session before running out the clock.
With both running games being pretty equal,
it was the passing game that proved to be the
difference. Hampton quarterback TJ Mitchell,
starting his first game in place of Princeton
Shepherd, played a superb game, completing
17 of 27 passes for one touchdown. Purvis
spent much of the game dodging Pirate
defenders, and finished 4-of-14 passing with
Despite the loss, WSSU's defense continued
to play lights out, as it allowed only its third
touchdown in the last twelve quarters. Nate
Biggs led the Rams wath 14 tackles.
With their win against St. Augustine College
on November 4, WSSU has a chance to finish
its first Division 1-AA season with a 5-6 record.
But as Blount readily points out, the Rams
should actually be even better.
"We gave away the Florida A&M game, we
had a chance to win the game agamst Bethune-
Cookman, and we had a chance to win
(against Hampton) last week," said Blount.
"We're taking it one game at a time now. All
we are looking for is a win."
Steven J. Gaither
As he watched his team stand on the field
at Bowman Gray Stadium with their helmets
held in the air. Rams head coach Kermit
Blount could not help but crack a smile.
While his offense struggled for much of the
day, his defense forced four turnovers and
scoring a touchdown to defeat the St.
Augustine Falcons 26-6 on Saturday, Nov 4,
"We shut the field down and made it a
short field," said Blount, who tied Thomas
"Tank" Conrad on the all-time wins chart at
WSSU with his 81st victory.
On the third play of the game, Duane
Smith's pass was intercepted by Rams line
backer Thadeus Griffin and returned 30 yards
for a touchdown. On their next possession,
backed up in their own end zone, the Falcons
hiked the ball over Smith's head, resulting in
a safety, and giving the Rams a 9-0 lead
before the offense even stepped on the field.
Once again backed deep into their own ter
ritory, the Falcons handed over the ball.
Linebacker Juan Corders ripped the ball from
receiver Eric McLauglin, and defensive end
William Hayes recovered. However, the Rams
were not able to capitalize on the turnover as
Chad Oakley missed his first field goal of the
The problems continued to mount for the
Falcons. After going three-and-out, punter
Robert Boone was taken down in the back
field, once again giving the Rams excellent
field position. This time, the Rams put it into
the end zone as Monte Purvis found senior
Stan Wright for a five-yard touchdown, and
the extra point gave the Rams a 16-0 lead.
Just before the half, the Falcons finally
caught a break. Orville Pass Ill's fumble on
the punt return gave the Falcons the ball on
their own 47. Two plays later. Smith hit
McLaughlin for a 58-yard touchdown pass.
The Falcons' failed two-point attempt made
the score 16-6 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Falcons gave the
Rams excellent field position, after another
bad snap on the punt gave the Rams the ball
deep in Falcon territory. This time the Rams
were able to muster out a field goal, giving
them a 19-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
Just when it seemed that St. Augustine was
poised to get back into the game, they again
shot themselves in the foot. WSSU comerback
Deron Middleton picked off Smith's pass in
the end zone to stop the Falcons. A 41-yard
touchdown mn by Brandon McCrae put the
nail in the coffin with six minutes to go in the
The Rams won the game, despite gaining
fewer first downs than the Falcons (10-12)
and be out gained in total offense(166-158).
"It doesn't matter what the offense does,"
said Griffin, who scored the first touchdown
of his career. "It's our job to stop the other
team from scoring points. We did it and we
Saturday was senior day for the Rams.
Senior receiver Stan Wright, one of nine sen
iors on the team, scored his final touchdown
at Bowman Gray.
"If I'm in a position to make a play, I
want to try to make it," he said of his second
quarter touchdown. He also said the fact that
it was his final home game had not yet sunk
The win moves the Rams' record to 4-6
with one game remaining in their first divi
sion I season. The Rams will finish up the sea
son on Nov. 18 with a road game against for
mer CIAA and future MEAC rival, Norfolk
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