Bobby Junior ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 40 seconds left in the game to give Winston-Salem State a 12-7 victory over winless Howard University tonight.
The Division II Rams, who had rallied to 7-6 on Dana Walker's six-yard touchdown with 1:23 left in the third quarter, moved 25 yards in four plays for their winning touchdown.
Winston-Salem State (4-1) had had a chance to go ahead three minutes earlier, but Tyrone Smith's 45-yard field goal attempt was wide right.
Howard needed to make only two first downs to run out the clock. But the Bison lost a total of five yards on first and second down, then were called for offensive pass interference on third down, putting the ball on the 11. On fourth down, Howard was called for delay of game, before Jon Nicolaisen could punt, putting the ball on the six.
Nicolaisen got off a 49-yard punt, but the Bison were called for a 15-yard face mask penalty on the punt return, and Winston-Salem took over at the 25.
Howard (0-5) played inspired football for three quarters, but the Bison sputtered in the final 15 minutes. The Bison were the recipients of five turnovers, but the team's offense was unable to score.
"We just didn't cash in on our breaks in the first half," said Howard Coach Willie Jeffries. "We really shouldn't have lost the ball game with the turnovers they had.
"I thought we played a good game defensively. We just couldn't run our offense. Their defense beat our offense down."
Winston-Salem State, a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, turned the ball over four times in the first half but Howard was able to capitalize only once, good enough for a 7-0 lead at halftime.
Howard scored when Vincent Jones, Winston-Salem State's punter, was unable to field a snap and the ball went into the end zone. Conrad Austin fell on the football for a touchdown. Nicolaisen converted and Howard led, 7-0, with 1:41 left in the first quarter.
The Bison had the ball in scoring position on three other occasions in the half but the offense bogged down, and Nicolaisen, usually a reliable place kicker, was wide on three field goal attempts.
Winston-Salem State moved the ball into Howard's territory three times. But the Rams turned the ball over twice and Smith's 47-yard field goal attempt came up inches short.
Each team moved the ball well on its first possession. The Rams won the toss and moved the ball quickly to the Howard 21. Howard's defense stiffened and Smith's kick came up short.
Howard, aided by an illegal substitution penalty on Winston-Salem, moved the ball to the Rams' 15 on its first try. However, an illegal procedure penalty and a sack pushed the Bison back to the 28 before Nicolaisen missed from 45 yards.
Howard threatened again before halftime, moving from its 21 to the Winston-Salem 25. With eight seconds left, Nicolaisen's 45-yard attempt was wide to the right.