Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:33 AM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Winston-Salem's Kameron Smith was a dual threat, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing 60 yards. He amassed a total 327 offensive yards.
Published on: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
By Daniel Kucin
The Bowie State Bulldogs hosted the Winston-Salem State Rams Saturday for Service Appreciation Day.
The 2012 CIAA semi-finalist took no mercy on Bowie State and extended its undefeated win streak to 5-0.
Bowie quarterback Jared Johnson started for the Bulldogs after missing action the past two games while nursing a concussion. Johnson started the game off a little rusty, and the Bulldogs’ first drive was very sloppy — quickly handing the ball back to the nine-time CIAA champs.
Winston-Salem methodically ran its offense downfield, and Rams quarterback Kameron Smith found Jahuann Butler for a long 41-yard pass to strike first, 7-0.
The Bulldogs showed why they have won three games so far this year with hard fought victories and did not want to go down willingly on their next possession. On the very first play, Johnson found Douglas McNeil deep down the right sideline for a 45-yard gain to put the Bulldogs in scoring position. However, the Rams kept the plays in front of them and forced Bowie to make a chip shot field goal, 7-3.
Bowie started the second quarter on the wrong foot when Johnson threw an errant pass to senior free safety Malcom Rowe inside the Bulldogs’ territory. Winston-Salem could smell the end zone and cashed in another touchdown pass from Smith to Tehvyn Brantley for 25 yards, 14-3.
Bowie simply could not move the ball against Winston-Salem’s relentless rushing defense throughout the rest of the game. That led to a one-dimensional offensive approach, and every play at this point seemed extremely predictable.
However, with just under six minutes left in the second quarter, Johnson led his team to Winston-Salem’s 41 yard line — hitting McNeil on a crossing pattern across the middle. McNeil lost the ball, but Malcom Rowe recovered the fumble on the Bulldogs best attempt to score again.
“We don’t make excuses, but we just did not make enough plays to win the game,” Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson said. “They are the No. 5 team in the country. They are just a good team, and you have to make plays when it is your time to make them.”
The Rams took the wind out of Bowie’s sails with another scoring drive, attaining possession after half on a nine play, 65-yard drive capped off by a touchdown reception to Jamal Williams, 21-3.
Bowie used a little trickery on their ensuing possession when punter Gregor Koepping took the direct snap and ran for 21 yards on fourth down to keep the Bulldogs’ drive alive.
However, the Bulldogs lost more yards than they gained on their next set of downs. The hero of the game at this point slowly assumed the role of scapegoat when Koepping’s punt was blocked by Curtis McGill and the Rams recovered the loose ball.
Despite what the score indicated, Bowie State put together an admirable effort to stay in this game.
Back-up senior quarterback Tyrae Reid came in late in the third quarter to try and muster some offense for the Bulldogs, but it seemed they were in too deep of a hole with little hope in finding answers against Winston-Salem.
“Coming into the game I thought it was going to be a very competitive game,” Reid said. “Normally we feed off of each other, and we did not come out with enough energy that we needed to come back from a deficit … we fell short this week.”
The Rams kept the pedal to the floor all the way until the end and piled on three more touchdowns — defeating Bowie State 35-3 to keep their top spot in the southern division.
Winston-Salem’s passing attack made the difference, and Smith was impressive throwing for 267 yards and four touchdowns as well as rushing for 60 yards. Bowie State will regroup and focus on its next opponent on the road against Chowan University this Saturday.