by Brandon Blakney
After a week one thriller between two in state rivals one remained, it spanned two days and three weather delays. Take a look at my takeaways from Winston Salem State’s last second 23-20 comeback win over Unc Pembroke.
1. Kerrion Moore burned UNCP in consecutive years
Moore saved the day from becoming a complete meltdown with 33- seconds left on a historic 63 yard- catch and run, that will go down in Rams history as one of the greatest touchdowns of all time.
The score came in a bizarre fashion Moore snagged a tipped pass and turned it up the sideline into a completely open field. The play was a display of great awareness by moore and a bit of luck just being in the right place at the right time. The score ended a 20-0 run by Unc Pembroke after consecutive weather delays.
Moore racked up 95 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries leading up to the catch, he showed patience behind the line and Moore finished runs strong. Moore is a physical runner and he seems to find the end zone frequently against the Braves. Last season Moore found the endzone three times against Unc Pembroke as well, the senior running back could be on the way to a special season.
2. The Passing game has big play ability
Quarterback Rod Tinsley had an up and down day but he battled through adversity, and came through in the clutch on the final possession for the Rams. Tinsley completed five of his nine pass attempts for 130 yards through the air.
The passing game showed flashes on a couple of big plays including a 51- yard- bomb completed to senior wideout Quincy Jackson. Tinsley is an experienced fifth year senior, and knows Coach Boulware’s system well. Tinsley is a true dual threat signal caller, Tinsley really throws it well on the run
He did get benched in this one, after the second weather delay the Rams offense went stagnant. Tinsley sat majority of the second half but that didn’t shake his focus in the end. Tinsley will have to rebound against a stingy Catawba secondary next week.
3. Tyron Roberts and Jack Nimmons led a physical defensive line
For majority of the first half WSSU controlled the line of scrimmage and their defensive line had Braves quarterback Josh Jones scrambling for his life.
Senior Tyron Roberts and junior Jack Nimmons made their presence felt down in the trenches. They disrupted the offensive flow of the Braves, who only had 85 total yards in the first half. Roberts collected seven tackles and a sack, Nimmons finished with five tackles along with two sacks of his own. The defensive lines penetration in the first half made life easier on the linebackers, and it also took pressure off the secondary.
This entire group will need to maintain that same energy for four quarters of football in their next matchup.
“We had a couple mistakes and didn’t focus like we need to, it’s an ugly win but we’ll take it.” Nimmons said.
4. The young Braves have a bright future
Unc Pembroke really came to life in the second half. This young offense was able to explode for 220 yards and 20 straight points after the weather delays.
Freshman quarterback Josh Jones went 17- of- 27, for 223 yards and two scores through the air, along with this offensive line Jones found his footing in the pocket and provided time allowed him to flourish. The Braves receiving corps have a nice blend of size and speed on the outside, and slot receiver Tyshawn Carter showed big play ability with three catches for 79 yards.
The group doesn’t start a single senior on the offensive side of the ball there is a lot of upside here. As the young Braves continue to gel and grow their confidence this group could be special in the near future.