The Shepherd University Rams won their final road game of the year, knocking off West Virginia State 24-10.
WV State orchestrated a 91-yard opening drive and capped it off when quarterback Matt Kinnick connected with Quinton Gray for a 24-yard touchdown. The Rams’ defense settled down after that, allowing only three points for the rest of the game.
Shepherd did a lot of damage on the ground versus the Yellow Jackets. Sophomore running back Jabre Lolley ran for a career-high 156 yards on 22 rushes and scored his first touchdown since Week 6 against UVa-Wise. Junior Allen Cross recorded 140 rushing yards on 21 attempts. The Rams totaled 317 rushing yards on the day. In comparison, the Yellow Jackets managed only 23 yards of rushing.
Sophomore quarterback Jeff Ziemba threw for 227 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Most of those yards were to sophomore wide receiver Billy Brown, who reeled in six catches, 133 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown came with less than a minute left in the second quarter on a 25-yard pass. This is the second week in a row where Brown led the team in receiving yards.
Ziemba’s other touchdown pass came in the first quarter when he found sophomore wide receiver Tony Squirewell on a 10-yard pass.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams played yet another solid game and shutout WV State in the second half. Senior defensive back Levi Barber recorded his first sack on the year and wrapped up five tackles while forcing one fumble. Senior defensive lineman Bernard Wolley and redshirt-freshman Jonathen Durrett both made it into the backfield and sacked the quarterback as well. Wolley now has five sacks on the season.
The Rams were able to break up a total of nine total passes against the Yellow Jackets. Senior outside linebacker De’Ontre Johnson, redshirt-freshman James Gupton and sophomore inside linebacker Octavius Thomas all batted away two passes each. Junior defensive back Philip Rhoden, sophomore defensive back CJ Davis and redshirt-freshman Ryan Sturdivant broke up passes as well.
This week is the match that the team and fans have been waiting for: a home match against undefeated Concord University. The Rams still have a chance to make the playoffs, but they must win this game in order to make that happen.
Last year, these teams closed out their seasons up in Athens, W. Va when the Rams knocked off the Mountain Lions 41-33. However, this is a new year, and Concord has improved. They are coming off a win against Notre Dame, the team who handed Shepherd its lone loss, by the score of 51-14.
The game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 15 at noon.