The Winston-Salem State (WSSU) Rams football team scored 28 second half points and survived a late scare from Elizabeth City State on their way to a 38-18 win in the 2011 CIAA Football Championship Game on Nov. 12 in Durham, N.C.

The 10,127 football fans in attendance saw the WSSU Rams remain unbeaten on the season and come away with their ninth football championship and first since 2000. Elizabeth City State fell to 8-3 on the year.

WSSU senior running back Nicholas Cooper was named the game’s most valuable player as he rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Backup fullback Tyrone Goldston, a redshirt sophomore, also came up big for the Rams with five carries for 50 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown run that sealed his team’s victory. Junior receiver Tehvyn Brantley led WSSU with five catches for 34 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, redshirt sophomore Alton Keaton led the Rams in tackles for the eighth time this season, racking up seven tackles, one sack, two and a half tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick. Senior Akeem Ward finished with six tackles (four solo), one and a half tackles for a loss and one blocked kick. Brian Williams also had six tackles (three solo).  Senior Antonio Gates, Junior Khendra Reid and redshirt junior Carlos Fields each had five tackles, with Gates picking up a sack and a tackle for a loss.

WSSU now has an 11-0 record and will advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs. They will find out who their opponents are later this week.


Trevin Goodwin

Special to the AFRO