WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Winston-Salem State’s Brenden Felder accounted for 245 all-purpose yards, and Phillip Sims threw touchdowns to Felder as the Rams held off a scrappy Livingstone College Blue Bear team, 34-17 on Senior Day at Bowman Gray Stadium.
With the win, Winston-Salem State moves to 7-1 overall, 4-0 in the CIAA and 3-0 in the Southern Division. Livingstone falls to 5-3 overall, 2-3 in the CIAA and 1-2 in the Southern Division.
It wouldn’t take the WSSU Rams long to get on the scoreboard, as they would go 78 yards in four plays on the second possession, capped by a Mustafa Greene 59 yard touchdown sprint, to push the Rams out in front 7-0 early.
The Blue Bears came into game riding the legs and arm of quarterback, Drew Powell and the hands of receiver Jalen Hendricks, and although they were able to move the ball, they were not able to push into the Rams end of the field in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter WSSU would go on a long drive covering 68 yards and 10 plays, and the Rams would add to their score with a 25 yards field goal from Alejandro Suarez, giving WSSU a 10-7 advantage.
Livingstone would finally get on the board after a Brenden Felder fumble on a punt return set the Blue Bears up in good field position.
LC’s Leonardo Manzo would connect on a 27 yard field goal, to cut into the Rams lead, 10-3.
But as quick as the Blue Bears could line up and kickoff, WSSU’s Brenden Felder wouold make up for his previous miscue in a big way. Felder would take the kickoff five yards deep in the endzone, and weave his way through the oncoming defenders, and break away down the right sideline for a 105 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving the Rams a 17-3 lead.
Neither team would manage to score anymore before the half, and Winston-Salem State would take the 14 point advantage into the locker room for the break.
Winston-Salem State would break the game wide open in the third quarter with multiple scores. With 7:31 on the clock, William Johnson connected on a 43 yard field goal, and at the end of the quarter, Phillip Sims would hit Brenden Felder from 10 yards out for a touchdown to give the Rams a commanding 27-3 lead.
Livingstone would not go away, and Drew Powell would lead the Blue Bears on a 75 yard eight play drive and he would find Austin Higgins open for a one yard throw and catch for a score. WSSU would block the PAT, to stay out in front 27-9.
But two minutes later, the combination of Sims and Felder would strike again, this time, with Sims feeling the defensive pressure and falling backwards, he would throw a bullet downfield to a wide open Felder from 60 yards out for another WSSU score, giving the Rams a 34-9 lead.
Still not wanting to throw in the towel, Livingstone would manage to reach the goal line once more, as Drew Powell would find Jalen Hendricks across the middle and he would take it 26 yards for the final points of the day, making the score 34-17.
WSSU would surrender a season high 415 total yards (134 rushing, 281 passing), but was able to keep the Blue Bears out of the endzone. The Rams gained 409 total yards (204 rushing, 205 passing) on the afternoon.
Offensively for WSSU, Mustafa Greene led the Rams rushing attack with 97 yard on just 11 carries and one score, while Rudy Johnson ran for 66 yards on five carries. Maurice Lewis picked up 49 yards on eight carries.
Phillip Sims finished the afternoon 12 of 20 for 181 yards and two touchdowns, with Rudy Johnson going one of three for 24 yards.
Marcel Caver caught four passes for 43 yards, and Brenden Felder had three catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Benis and Eric Williams had two catches each, with Benis going for 30 yards and Williams going for 18 yards.
Brenden Felder had a monster day on special teams for the Rams, with three kickoff returns for 154 yards, including a school record tying 100 yard return for a touchdown. Alejandro Suarez went one for two on field goals with a 36 yards make, and William Johnson also went one for two with a made field goal from 43 yards out.
Defensively, Terry Ross finished with a game and season high 10 tackles, while James Hickman finished with eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Conor O’Nealhad another solid game with five tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry. Duvontae Covington finished with five tackles and a tackle for a loss. Five other Rams had four tackles each, and Michael Bloomfield and Quinton Alton each had 0.5 sack. Omari Williams had a fumble recovery and D’Metrius Smith had a forced fumble.
Courtesy: WSSU Sports Information