CANTON — The Central State Marauders defeated the Winston-Salem State Rams, 41-21, in the 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday.
“I am happy for our program and our fans,” head coach Kevin Porter said. “It is a big game for us to win on a great stage. It has been a while since Central State has won a HBCU Classic so hopefully this is a turning point for us as a University and as a football program moving forward.”
Sunday’s game, which was shown live on the NFL Network, opened with a 81-yard kickoff return by CSU’s Twon Hines. Hines later finished the drive with a seven yard touchdown reception to give the Marauders the early lead. Anthony Mack put CSU up by 14 with a 25-yard interception return for a score at the 6:26 mark of the first quarter.
WSSU broke through an a turnover as the Rams’ Justin Fleming intercepted a pass and ran to the endzone with 2:37 to play in the opening quarter. The WSSU offense knotted the score up an a 90 yard scoring drive capped off with a 23 yard throow from Richard Latimore to Amos Mobley with 4:38 left in the half.
The Marauders scored late in the half with a methodical 10 play, 60 yard drive ending with a three-yard run to the outside pylon by Kaz Dina.
CSU went back up by two scores as a Jalil Lenore fumble recovery set up the Marauder offense at the WSSU 7-yard line. After being pushed back due to a holding call, CSU quarterback Brandon Kyles completed back to back passes including a 13-yard strike to Kenyadus Hollins for the score at the 5:10 mark. WSSU responded on its next drive as Latimore connected with a streaking Mobley again for a 43-yard touchdown.
On CSU’s next drive, a defensive holding call and roughing on the passer allowed by CSU to move down the field and eventually find the endzone as Aaron Kennebrew leaped over a pile of players from two-yards out.
With a 34-21 lead going into the final quarter, the Marauders took full control when a Latimore fumble was recovered by linebacker Corwyn Hurt at the WSSU 21-yard line. CSU scored on the next play as Kyles found Micah Lowe through the air to give the Marauders a 20-point lead. The Marauder defense stepped up in the final stages of the game with three sacks in the fourth quarter to stifle any chance of a WSSU comeback.
“I thought that Brandon (Kyles) showed mental toughness through some of the early turnovers,” Porter said. “He stayed within the offense and came back to perform well in the second half. As a player who is new to our program, I am looking forward to the growth of Brandon as well as all of our new guys as we move forward this season.”
At the conclusion of the game, Central State head football coach Kevin Porter was presented with the BCHOF Championship Trophy while linebacker Jalil Lenore earned BCHOF Player of the Game honors.