College football: Blue Bears end the WSSU jinx

Published 8:45 pm Saturday, October 8, 2022

Staff report

SALISBURY — Silas Cruse threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Lasirton Bryant with 27 seconds left and long years of frustration melted off the Livingstone Blue Bears football team.

Maybe the new turf at Alumni Memorial Stadium was just what the doctor ordered for Livingstone, which finally found a way to beat long-time tormentor Winston-Salem State.

The Rams had won 18 straight against the Blue Bears.

Livingstone hadn’t beaten Winston-Salem State since the Blue Bears were a powerhouse and took three straight from the Rams in the late 1990s.

To be precise, the drought lasted 24 years.

An announced crowd of 2,500 got to watch the Blue Bears (2-4, 1-3) keep WSSU (0-5, 0-3) winless on the season.

It’s the Rams’ worst start since 2009. The weary Rams have been on the road the entire season.

Winston-Salem State got off to a dreadful start, turning the ball over on four straight possessions to open the game.

Livingstone managed to take a 7-0 lead on a short TD pass from Lazarus Anderson to Davontah Daloatch.

With Anderson knocked out of the game with an injury, Cruse launched a 66-yard scoring pass to Matthew Henry to put the Blue Bears ahead 14-0 late in the second quarter.

WSSU, which had a punt blocked and missed several field goals, finally got on the board with a field goal in the final 10 seconds of the first half.

The Rams’ turnover total swelled to six in the second half, but they kept fighting back under the direction of former LC head coach Robert Massey.

Asa Barnes had a short scoring run to cut Livingstone’s lead to 14-10 in the third quarter. Barnes caught a 36-yard touchdown on a screen pass to give the Rams a 17-14 lead with 3:15 left to play.

But the Blue Bears delivered joy to a Community Day crowd on that touchdown pass by Cruse on their final possession

Livingstone turned it over three times and failed to capitalize on countless opportunities, but wins are wins, especially against Winston-Salem State.

 The Rams will play their first home game at Bowman Gray Stadium next Saturday against Shaw.

Livingstone will try to build on this victory against Fayetteville State, a tough homecoming opponent.

WSSU              0     3        7         7 — 17

Livingstone   7        7      0       6  — 20

Scoring plays

LC – Deloatch 3 pass from Anderson (Weiers kick)

LC – Henry 66 pass from Cruse (Weiers kick)

WSSU – Esparza FG 33

WSSU – Barnes 2 run (Esparza kick)

WSSU – Barnes 36 pass from Slade (Caro kick)

LC – Bryant 2 pass from Cruse (kick blocked)