Rams Football Continues To Dominate

The Shepherd Rams went into Saturday’s matchup against UVA-Wise with a ton of confidence as the Rams were undefeated heading into this Mountain West Conference game. The Rams proved why they are undefeated as they dominated  the University of Virginia College at Wise, 42–17.

The Shepherd defense was the highlight of the afternoon as they held UVA-Wise to just 219 yards of total offense and pressured the quarterback all game. Senior defensive tackle Robert Hayes got to the quarterback two times on the afternoon as he was the only member of the Rams to record a sack on the day. UVA-Wise used four quarterbacks and they found no success with the multiple quarterback system as Shepherd picked off the ball four times, including two touchdown interception returns. One was recorded by senior free safety Corey Washington in the second quarter and then one by sophomore cornerback Phillip Rhoden late in the fourth quarter. Junior cornerback Dontrewell Kelley had five tackles to lead the Rams.

UVA-Wise was completely shut down on the afternoon as they struggled to even get on the board against the stifling Ram defense. UVA-Wise did not have an effective rushing attack as they rushed for a pathetic negative 35 yards. The Rams’ defense again showed how tough they are as that was the second time this season that they did not allow a yard of rushing in an entire game.

When you look at great teams, you start with the defense and the Rams’ defense has proven week after week why they have one of the top defenses in NCAA Division II football. The Rams now have garnered an incredible 14 interceptions on the season. Sophomore cornerback Phillip Rhoden continues to impress fans and experts alike as he leads the team with four interceptions on the season. No offense this season has been able to put up a rushing touchdown against the scrappy defensive squad of the Rams. The success of the defense depends on forcing turnovers and the Rams have proven that they can force multiple turnovers each and every week, which makes the Rams an offensive coordinator’s worse nightmare.

The Rams’ offense did not have the same success as in weeks past as they only had one touchdown on the afternoon. Sophomore runningback Allen Cross was the workhorse of the offense as he had 137 yards rushing, three receptions for 34 yards, and a rushing touchdown. Junior quarterback Trae Tinsman was solid on the afternoon as he went 11 for 19 with 135 yards of passing. Though, Tinsman never seemed to get comfortable in the pocket as he was sacked three times. Senior wide receiver Mitchell Pollard had four receptions for 39 yards to pace the Rams’ passing attack.

One hidden gem in the afternoon was sophomore kicker Ryan Earls. Earls kicked four field goals on the day and didn’t miss a PAT. Earls has been the model of consistency all season long as he has only missed one field goal on the season.

With the win, the Rams’ record now stands at 6–0 with a 5–0 MEC record while UVA-Wise dropped to 0–6 with a 0–3 MEC record. The Rams return to action next Saturday when they host Notre Dame College for a noon conference matchup. You can catch this game live on 89.7 FM WHSC Shepherdstown “Voice of Shepherd.” Coverage starts 11:50 a.m.

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