(THE PICKET) – The Shepherd Rams dominated the West Liberty Hilltoppers in all facets of the game in their 51-14 win on Homecoming Weekend in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Saturday afternoon.
Offensively the Rams gained a total of 561 yards, while defensively they held the Hilltoppers to a total of 241 yards. The Rams’ defense has built confidence after the past two weeks, holding their opponents to a total of 34 points combined.
“I feel like we’re getting back to the old Shepherd Ram defense by stopping the run and creating turnovers,” senior captain and free safety Tre Anderson commented after the game.
Two of the Rams’ three forced turnovers came from the defensive backfield. An interception from Anderson set the Rams’ offense up for a touchdown. Senior cornerback Hashim Sesay added an interception as well. Senior inside linebacker James Gupton led the Rams’ defense once again by tallying eight tackles and one tackle for a loss in the winning effort.
Running backs Jabre Lolley, a senior, and Patrick Griffin, a sophomore, combined for a total of 183 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Quarterback Connor Jessop had another flawless day through the air, throwing for 329 yards and 4 touchdowns with 23 completions. Sophomore tight end DJ Cornish caught 8 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Jeremiah Ortiz was the Hilltoppers’ leading rusher by gaining 82 yards on 21 carries. The Hilltoppers played three quarterbacks, as they all threw for 169 yards combined. Theodore Mayo pulled in two catches for 42 yards, including a 30-yard bomb that set up a score.
With a short week ahead, the Shepherd Rams have to shift their focus quickly to the Fairmont State Falcons. The Falcons will host the Rams this Thursday in a battle that many believe has MEC title implications. The Rams’ well-needed confidence couldn’t have come at a better time.
Ryan Sturdivant is a Sports Writer for The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org