Ram's defense gears up for Saturday's game with receiver coverage drills.

Shepherd gears up for semifinal against Grand Valley State

(THE PICKET) — The Shepherd Rams are one win away from the Division Two National Championship, the only obstacle remaining is Saturday’s matchup against the Grand Valley State Lakers from Allendale, Michigan.

Shepherd comes into the game with a perfect 12-0 record and as the winner of Super Region One. Shepherd beat Indian University of Pennsylvania 17-13 in round two, and most recently a 28-16 victory over Slippery Rock University in the quarterfinals. The lockdown Rams defense has been the talk of playoffs giving up an average 15.5 points per game and sacking Slippery Rock six times last week.

“The defense has been very good all year and has really stepped up playing a crucial role throughout the playoffs, ” said Head Coach Monte Cater after last week’s quarterfinal win over Slippery Rock.

The Rams offense has struggled to keep the consistency and explosiveness it showed in the regular season. Shepherd’s offense averaged 420 yards of offense in its 10-0 regular season while in its two post-season games averaging 308 yards per game. One of the bright spots on the offensive sides of the ball has been the powerful running of running back Allen Cross who registered his seventh game of over 75 yards on the ground last week against Slippery Rock.

Grand Valley State is no stranger to this situation, winning four National Championships since 2002. The sixth seed Lakers come into Saturday’s matchup after defeating third seed Ashland University 45-28, second seed Ferris State University 38-34, and last week beating the defending division two national champion Colorado State Pueblo 31-7.

The Lakers offense has been nothing less of spectacular this season averaging 461 yards per game, including 402 average yards per game in the playoffs. Running back Marty Carter is the Lakers biggest threat on offense rushing for more than 240 yards in two of their three playoff games.

Shepherd and Grand Valley State will kick off at noon from Rams Stadium. Gates will open at 10. Tickets will be $5 for students with Rambler and $10 for all other general admission seats. ESPN will be covering the game and broadcasting on ESPN 3 live and tape delayed on Tuesday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.

“This is a chance to put the entire university on a national stage,” Athletic Director B.J. Pumroy said. “We are very proud to be selected to host this event.”

Another milestone was reached with the quarterfinal victory last Saturday. Cater won his 250th career game, he is now 25th on the all-time win list for collegiate coaches.

“I could not have done it without the athletes and assistant coaches I have had over the years, I have been truly blessed,” Cater said in a post-game interview last week.


Game Day Parking

A reminder of our game day parking plan as we welcome Grand Valley State University for the NCAA National Semifinal game on 12/12/15.

B Lot will be closed from 9:00pm, Friday, 12/11/15 and will reopen at 6:00pm, Saturday, 12/12/15 to faculty and staff. For faculty and staff who need to be on campus on Saturday please use the spaces outside of the gates near SU Maintenance. If you need to leave a car overnight please plan to leave it outside of the gates near SU Maintenance.

The Erma Ora Byrd lot will be closed at 10:00pm Friday on 12/11/15 and will reopen at 6:00pm Saturday, 12/12/15

If you have any questions or need additional assistance please feel free to contact me directly. Vehicles in B Lot or Erma Ora Byrd lot during posted closure times will be subject to towing at owner’s expense.

Thank you for all of your cooperation. Without you we could not have the best game day environment in the Mountain East Conference!

If you have any further question contact,

Aaron Ryan – Assistant Athletic Director

University Advancement

Shepherd University

304-876-5527 (o) 304-671-1985 (c)

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