September 10, 2016
Football Falls Short in Rally vs. WSSU
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Winston-Salem State stopped a last-minute Catawba drive to secure a 23-17 win in football action on Saturday night at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field. The Rams improve to 1-1 with the victory. The Catawba Indians fall to 0-2.
Down 23-10, Catawba used a 15-play, 76-yard drive to close within a score on Mike Sheehan’s (Wilmington, N.C./Laney) four-yard run with 6:52 to play. Catawba had faced a fourth-and-three at the Ram 23, but Sheehan converted with a seven-yard toss to Keyon West (North Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta).
After the Catawba score, WSSU had a good kickoff return by Reggie Wilkins and with an Indian penalty the Rams set up at near midfield. The Rams worked the clock and moved to the Catawba 19 with just over two minutes left. The Rams would miss a field goal that allowed Catawba one last chance.
A penalty on Catawba’s first play moved the ball to its own 10, but Sheehan responded with a pair of 14-yard strikes to West. The drive appeared to have stalled after Sheehan threw an incompletion on a fourth-and-four, but a roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive and moved the ball to the Ram 41. A third-down pass to Jourdan Osinskie (Greensboro, N.C./S. Alamance) came up just a couple yards short of a first down and the Indians, in a rush, spiked the ball to kill the clock on fourth down with just 2.7 seconds left.
A momentum shift in the game occurred late in the second quarter. After the Indians had gained first downs on three straight plays to get the ball to the WSSU 40, a fumble gave the ball back to the Rams. On the ensuing play, Rod Tinsley tossed a pass to Canard Brown, who cut back across the field for a 49-yard score and a 17-7 Winston-Salem State lead.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter and Will Johnson made his third of the day early in the fourth to give the Rams their 23-10 edge. Te’Vaughn Hurse had opened the scoring for WSSU as he capped a 50-yard drive with a one-yard run and a 7-0 lead six minutes in the game. West caught a nine-yard pass from Sheehan to tie the score late in the opening quarter.
The game was fairly even statistically with WSSU gaining 351 yards of offense, just three more than Catawba. The Indians had 22 first downs to 18 for the Rams, but Catawba had the lone turnover of the game.
Hurse ran for 103 yards on 10 carries for the Rams. Tinsley completed 12 of 18 passes for 142 yards. Sheehan was 18 of 36 for Catawba for 232 yards. Eamon Smart (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral) led the Indians on the ground with 55 yards on 13 carries. West caught seven passes for 75 yards.
Catawba opens South Atlantic Conference play next weekend, hosting Carson-Newman at 1:30 p.m.
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