DURHAM, N.C. – The Shaw University football team roared out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, and then used a strong passing game and opportunistic defense to top Winston-Salem State University on Homecoming and Senior Day at Durham County Memorial Saturday afternoon in nationally televised game.
The Bears recognized 14 senior student-athletes before kickoff that included Dorrel McClain (Raleigh, NC), Michael Sherman, Jr., Coleman Blackston (Baltimore, MD), Raymond Green, Jr. (Durham, NC), Keon Marsh (Queens, NY), Quron Hall (Jacksonville, FL), Joshua Edwards (McCleansville, NC), Alban Harp, Jr. (Winter Garden, FL), Zedrious Wright-Starks (Atlanta, GA), Keith Alston (Eggharbor City, NJ), Dante Lowe-Rogers (Concord, NC), Andrew Cash (Semora, NC), Justus Sapp (Franklinton, NC), Dana Macklin (Ridgeway, SC) and Terrence Jones (Newport News, VA).
Offensively, Shaw (4-4, 3-2 CIAA) turned in 243 yards of total offense, including 203 through the air while the Bears defense held the Rams (4-4, 3-2 CIAA) scoreless in the first half and limiting its powerful run game to 192 yards on the ground while scoring seven points off of WSSU's turnovers. In the Southern Division standings, Shaw and Winston-Salem State are 3-1, tied for second place behind Fayetteville State.
Junior receiver Marquis Gorham (Greenville, NC) was a workhorse in the Bears option attack, gaining a career-high 129 yards on nine receptions and two touchdowns while Marsh registered 203 yards on 19-of-29 passes and three touchdowns.
Shaw struck first with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter when Marsh connected with sophomore receiver Daniel Bender (Jacksonville, FL) for a six yard TD. Freshman Colton Koontz (Lexington, NC) extra point gave Shaw a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Neither teams scored on the offensive side of the ball in the second stanza but on a third and six for the Rams, Dominique Graves pass was intercepted by sophomore defensive back Kevin Sherman (Powder Springs, GA) for an 82 yard pick six and a 14-0 lead for the Bears at intermission.
In the second half, the Rams managed to outscore the Bears 14-6 in the third quarter. WSSU's first score of the game came on a 12 play drive worth 73 yards capped off by a five yard rushing touchdown from Jahi Linebarger at the 10:16 mark. WSSU then scored again, this time on a one yard scamper from Antwoin Pittman that would knot the game at 14-even with 2:57 left to play in the quarter. However, Shaw put together a four-play 45 yard drive topped off by a Marsh and Gorham connection for a four yard reception TD that would give the Bears a 20-14 control going into the fourth quarter.
With 5:30 remaining in the contest, a relentless Rams squad stole the lead after an 18 yard TD reception from Darren Dowdell. On the ensuing possession, the Bears never panicked; in fact, Shaw showed poised and stuck to the game plan as Marsh and Gorham combined for 52 yards on four plays that led to a 25 yard reception touchdown for Gorham and a 26-21 scoring margin in favor of SU.
WSSU's next drive started at the 4:04 mark as the Rams tallied two first downs but the Bears defense came up big when freshman defensive lineman Corinthian Hudson, Jr. (Pompano, FL) sacked Emiere Scaife for a nine yard loss, giving Shaw the ball back and ultimately the victory which snapped a two-game losing skid for Shaw against the Rams.
In addition, the win also marked the first win on homecoming since 2014 and extends the Bears win-streak to three consecutive games for the first since 2013.
Junior linebacker Devon Hunt (Hamlet, NC) led the Bears defense with 15 tackles and two tackle for loss while Sherman made 10 stops.
Shaw returns to the field on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Saint Augustine's for the Raleigh Classic. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the George Williams Athletic Complex.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw football and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit www.shawbears.com.