Sunday, September 18, 2022

Elizabeth City State Holds Off Winston-Salem State, 20-17

ELIZABETH CITY – The Elizabeth City State Vikings held off Winston-Salem State, 20-17, on Saturday afternoon at Roebuck Stadium. Tesean Jones’s perfect 7-7 passing day helped push the home team out to a ten-point lead while the Vikings defense held off a last-minute Rams rally.

Winston-Salem State owned the first half of the game, putting up ten points on offense and forcing three punts, an interception, and a turnover on downs. Asa Barnes opened up the scoring for the Rams, finishing off a ten-play, sixty-three-yard opening drive with a two-yard run. After picking off a pass deep in Vikings territory, Winston-Salem State was unable to find the end zone, instead settling for a sixteen-yard Jobanni Esparza field goal. Those four points proved to be critical by the end of the afternoon.

The second half belonged to the hometown Vikings. Elizabeth City State put together a methodical drive, moving the chains seventy yards over eight plays, with Cameron Saunders hitting paydirt from a fifteen-yard pass from Tesean Jones. When Jones hit Zion Riddick for a seventy-five-yard touchdown two drives later, the Vikings had the lead for the first time on the afternoon. A fifty-yard fumble recovery for a score by Raevon Freeman made it a ten-point game with under four minutes left on the clock.

The Rams tried to get back in the game late, and JahTwan Strafford’s nine-yard touchdown made it a three-point game, but the Vikings were able to run out enough clock and snuff out any last hope WSSU had for the comeback.

Next Week

Elizabeth City State (1-2) travels to Raleigh to take on Shaw while Winston-Salem State (0-3) is back in northeastern North Carolina for the second week in a row to face a Chowan squad that’s coming off a last second win over Johnson C. Smith.