Nov. 9, 2013
Winston-Salem, N.C. - Fayetteville State made a late run. But it wasn't enough to top CIAA powerhouse Winston-Salem State.
The Broncos fell 28-14 at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday afternoon, a loss that ended its season with a record of 6-4.
All in all, it was a four-win improvement from 2012. And with youth on its side, the program appears to be heading in the right direction.
"The future's bright," FSU coach Lawrence Kershaw said. "We're a fairly young team. We got most everybody back. We only have about 10 seniors, so we got a big junior class. We just got work we got to do.
"I'm proud that we were able to send our seniors out with a winning record, which is something they haven't had here since they've been playing."
It was a tall task for the Broncos (6-4 overall, 5-2 CIAA), to be certain. The Rams were aiming at a third consecutive undefeated conference season, and on the first possession of the game they were determined to start quick with a touchdown.
On that opening possession, WSSU accomplished just that. Five plays into the ballgame, the Rams had marched 66 yards downfield and found the end zone on a 3-yard rush by Maurice Lewis. Lewis was a thorn in the side of the Broncos defense all day long. The tailback recorded 188 of his team's 305 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns on 29 carries.
Offensively, FSU had trouble early adapting a game plan that could work against a tough Rams defense.
"We just weren't able to get enough stuff going offensively against their defense," Kershaw said. "We did some stuff, had some opportunities and we didn't make some plays that we should have made. Again, give them all the credit. They're one of the best defense in the nation and they did a hell of a job."
Early in the second quarter, Michael Johnson's interception of a Rudy Johnson pass set up FSU in prime field position. But that Rams defense was stingy once again. On 4th and 1 with 11:53 to go in the period, Andre Montgomery was stuffed at the 1-yard line, allowing the Rams to hold onto a 14-0 lead.
"It was huge," Kershaw said. "They got a stop, but again, in the first half we had guys going the wrong way. It was really a busted play. That's why they stopped it."
After a scoreless third quarter, the Broncos found some offensive success in the final frame. A nine-play, 70-yard drive ended with a Jemeryn Jenkins 17-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Allen that pulled FSU within seven with 7:22 to play.
But the Rams responded. Eight plays and 74 yards later, Joshua Glisson rumbled into the end zone from a yard out to widen the gap to 21-7.
FSU again scored on its next possession, going five plays and 68 yards in just 1:20 and finishing on Jenkins' 21-yard pass to Dwayne Lorick. The score made it 21-14 with 1:04 remaining.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, their ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Rams. On third down, Rudy Johnson completed a pass to Chase Powell, who raced 44 yards to the end zone for the touchdown that put the game away.
Jenkins finished the game 11 of 18 for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Derek Bryant was 16 of 24 for 158 yards and an interception. Antonio Allen had nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.