The Shepherd University Rams improved their record to 4-0 on the season after another convincing win, 56-7 over West Virginia Wesleyan.
Following WV Wesleyan’s opening drive touchdown, the Rams were able to completely stop the Bobcats’ offense. Jeremy Musselman, quarterback for the Bobcats, was having a great season coming into the game, throwing for 855 yards, nine touchdowns and one interceptions in his first three game. Against the Rams, he had 112 yards, three interceptions and a lost fumble.
“We knew he would be good,” said Head Coach Monte Cater following the game, “we wanted to make them one dimensional. Which we did.”
The Rams were able to take away the running game, allowing 31 rushing yards during the game. This forced West Virginia Wesleyan to pass, and the Rams were able to pressure Musselman and force mistakes.
Sophomore defensive back CJ Davis had a great game on the defensive side of the ball and in special teams. He returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, his fifth career touchdown, and grabbed his fourth interception of the season which would set up the offense to later score. Coach Cater said that the kickoff return was the biggest play of the day.
The defense was able to record two scoring plays. Sophomore inside linebacker Octavius Thomas recovered a fumble and returned it 20 yards to give the Rams their first lead of the game. In the fourth quarter, redshirt-freshman Rudie Henderson tackled running back Raymond Myers in the end zone for a safety.
The Rams were constantly in the Bobcats’ backfield, recording 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. Sophomore defensive lineman Shaquille Melvin recorded two of those sacks, including the forced fumble that would be picked up for a touchdown. Redshirt-freshman Myles Humphrey had 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
Junior Philip Rhoden and Senior David Carter both recorded interceptions.
On the offensive side of the ball, the running game caused the defense problems. Sophomore Jabre Lolley had 65 yards on 14 attempts with two touchdowns. Lolley now has nine touchdowns in four games this season. Redshirt-freshman Malik Harleston scampered for a 69 yard touchdown run, the longest play of the game on offense. He ended the game with 93 yards on three carries. Allen Cross had the team’s other rushing score, adding 22 yards on seven attempts.
Sophomore quarterback Jeff Ziemba had 122 passing yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. He has yet to throw an interception this year. His lone touchdown pass went to junior wide receiver Dalton Boyd. The play went for 38 yards, which was the longest reception on the day.
Kicker Ryan Earls added two field goals. He kicked a 42 yarder and a 46 yard field goal, which tied a career high.
The Rams will be on the road next week to go against the University of Charleston. The Golden Eagles are currently 4-0 on the season. Last year, the Rams won 28-9.