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WSSU tops Chowan in top tier battle (2102 hits)

Published 2:24pm Monday, September 19, 2011
MURFREESBORO Ram-Tough.


While thatused to be a truck-makers marketing slogan, after Saturdays Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) game between Winston-Salem State and Chowan University at Garrison Stadium, the phrase could also apply to football.


The Hawks and the Rams entered Saturday evenings contest as the fourth-and-fifth best offenses in the league withWSSU averaging 44.5 points a game to Chowans40.


But the anticipated shootout never happened as the Rams jumped out to a 34-10 halftime lead behind quarterbackKameronSmiths four first-half touchdown passes and rolled to a 55-24 win.


For all the anticipated fireworks, defense proved to be the difference in this game. The Rams are second in the league, allowing a meager 16-and-a-half points per game whereasthe Hawks are giving up a whopping 28 points a game.


Junior receiver Robert Holland followed up his Player of the Week numbers from seven days ago with 108 yards receiving on six catches including a pair of touchdowns. His six scoring grabs are the best in the CIAA.


I think Im maturing, said the Newport News junior, and thats making things so much easier for me this year.


Meanwhile fellow junior Ryan Simpson led the Chowan ground attack with 65 yards on six carries.


Simpson was also5-of-8 passing for 68 yards and two scores after relieving starting quarterback Cameron Stover following Stovers being sacked and helped off the field in the third quarter.


Chowandropped to 1-2 overall, and 0-1 in the CIAA while the Rams move to 3-0, picking up all three wins on the road in conference play.


We knew that theyll probably be the best team that we play, said fourth-year Hawks coach Tim Place. Theyre a good team, a good team in all phases.


To our credit, he added, measuring his words, I thought we competed.We werent perfect, but we played hard.


Theyre a good team, he concluded, and we still have a ways to go.


Winston-Salem State got on the board first.


After forcing Chowan to three-and-out on the opening series of the game, punter Ryan Murphy bobbled the snap on a punt and was tackled at the Hawks five-yard line.


It took the Rams just two snaps of the ball to get their first touchdown and a 7-0 lead following the point after touchdown.


But dont feel for Murphy. The New Bern sophomore became a dual threat when as a receiver he had a pair of catches in the game; one of which led to his own 22-yard field goal late in the second quarter, and the other to a late Chowan touchdown.


He was also 3-for-3 in point-after kicks.


My teammates told me to just keep my head up (after the bad snap) through adversity, said Murphy after the game, and just go out there and make plays.


They know what I can do, he added with a grin.


The Rams scored on five of their first six possessions of the first half and were driving for another score before Anthony Hooks picked off Smith in the endzone. WSSU torched Chowan for 302 yards passing in the first half alone.


I was surprised they could get that open, said Hooks. We just had a bad game, thats all you can say.


It was 20-0 when Stover hooked up with Holland for Chowans first score, a corner route that madeit 20-7 early in the second quarter.


Trailing 34-10 at the half Chowan came out revved up in the third quarter and perhaps another second half comeback a la UNC-Pembroke would be in order.


But three plays into the half and freshman defensive lineman Tevin McGougan went down with what appeared to be a severe ankle injury and play was delayed while he was attended to on the field and later removed on a stretcher.


Hes a good kid, said Place, so well pursue a medical redshirt and hes got a great future with us,


Chowan held on that first WSSU possession, but the Rams werent held down long, scoring twice in the quarter to make it, 48-10.


Added to the Hawks woes, Stover went down from a vicious sack midway through the quarter and did not return.


Simpson, who started the final four games of last season engineered a pair of late scoring drives: Hollands second touchdown grab and an 11-yard scoring strike to Kevin Hodrick thatmade for the final margin.


The Holland-Hodrick duo have 10 touchdowns between them and have scored in each of Chowans first three games.


Weve now got four away games, said offensive lineman Nick Watts. Lets hope we can get our road trip off to a good start.


We have to start fast and finish strong, added linebacker Jason Ampy who finished with six tackles, be prepared and mentally focused.


Chowans next game is Saturday in Ettrick, Virginia against Virginia State.Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.


That contest is followed by three more road games at Virginia Union, Lincoln and Stillman College before Homecoming October 22 at Garrison against Shaw.


It is what it is, said Place of the schedule. We cant make excuses and we wont make excuses. Well just show up and get better.


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Sunday, September 25th 2011 at 5:51AM
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