Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 1996

Although the 1996 season started in August, the Golden Rams didn't play at Farrell Stadium until October. The young squad, under the guidance of head coach Rick Daniels, opened with wins at Cheyney, New Haven and Virginia St before narrowly falling to Delaware 24-17. Unfortunately, West Chester only went 2-2 at home, losing a 40-33 shootout to East Stroudsburg and a 20-10 game to Bloomsburg. Mike Furlong's defensive unit allowed only 170 points over ten games that season, pitching shutouts against Cheyney and Mansfield.

Some notable highlights from that 7-3 season:
  • Thomas Fulton rushed for 207 yards in a 17-14 win over Kutztown
  • Redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Mitros threw for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns and claimed PSAC East Rookie of the Year honors
  • Ben Tonon registered 24 tackles for loss and 88 total tackles and was named PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Team News - Twenty Golden Rams Named PSAC Scholar-Athletes

Twenty members of the Golden Ram football team have been named PSAC Scholar-Athletes for the 2015-2016 academic year. In order to qualify for the honor, athletes must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. There were 2,818 athletes from all 18 PSAC institutions of which 246 represented West Chester University.

Representing the football team are freshman linebacker Quinten Cheyney, senior defensive end Andrew Cohen, sophomore defensive end John Dubyk, freshman offensive lineman Colby Faasuamalie, junior defensive back Pete Galiano, junior left tackle Doug Gilbert, sophomore quarterback Kevin Hemmings, freshman tight end Tyler Higgins, freshman linebacker Zack Hockman, sophomore offensive lineman Alex Host, sophomore wide receiver Danny Jackson, sophomore wide receiver Tyler Karpinski, junior defensive back Kyle Keyser, freshman offensive lineman Shane Kraynik, senior defensive tackle Barry Lyons, sophomore quarterback Pat Moriarty, freshman wide receiver Dan Murphy, freshman offensive lineman Brian Ross, sophomore linebacker Justice Smith, freshman kicker Blaise Toroni, and freshman offensive lineman Frank Tranzilli.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Alumni News - Scott a Blue Bomber

Former Golden Ram defender Sam Scott is now suiting up for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. Scott was with the Calgary Stampeders in 2011 and then played in 11 games for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2013-2015. Scott is currently on the Blue Bombers 6-game injured list, so he won't see action before August.

Scott was a first team All-PSAC East linebacker in both 2008 and 2009. In 48 games at West Chester, he amassed 150 solo tackles, 92 assisted tackles, for 242 total tackles, 37.0 tackles for loss, an interception, three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks. His 37.0 tackles for loss currently puts him tied for fourth on the Golden Ram career list.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Alumni News - Les Dauphins de Nice Fall in Championship

Les Dauphins de Nice fell to the Cougars de Saint-Ouen l'Aumône by a score of 28-17 in the Fédération Française de Football Américain Championship. Former Golden Ram running back Rondell White scored on a 67-yard run to give the Dauphins a 10-0 first quarter lead. The Dauphins would reset their lead to ten points on a 7-yard scamper by White, giving Nice a 17-7 second quarter lead. But the Cougars shut down Nice the rest of the way and got their own passing game on track for the final of 28-17.

American Football International - St. Ouen Cougars Rally To Win Second Straight French Title

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 2006

The 2006 season was not for the faint of heart Golden Rams fans. For the first time in its 35-year history, Farrell Stadium would host a game on artificial turf when West Chester opened the campaign against Edinboro. Although the field held up well to the rain, the Golden Rams did not as six West Chester turnovers led to a 28-14 Edinboro win. After a trip to Newark to face Delaware, West Chester had an 0-2 record. And back in 2006, the Division II playoff criteria counted the game against the FCS Blue Hens.

The Golden Rams transitioned the starting quarterback position from Matt Burdalski to Bill Zwaan and picked up three wins, which set up a pivotal matchup at #9 Bloomsburg. With the Huskies holding a 24-6 lead early in the third quarter and with West Chester having very little success on third down, the Golden Rams started finding success on fourth down, successfully converting three attempts and narrowing the lead to 30-20. Bloomsburg pinned the Golden Rams on their own one yard line with a little more than two minutes left, but Zwaan completed passes to Eric Ruffenach, Ryan Paulson, Steven Miller, and Michael Washington to navigate the offense 99 yards in just 53 seconds and pull within three points. Unfortunately, Bloomsburg recovered the ensuing onside kick and West Chester's record was evened at 3-3.

The Golden Rams would then defeat the remaining four teams in the PSAC East - Millersville, Kutztown, East Stroudsburg and Mansfield. At 7-3, the last week of the regular season meant a trip to Slippery Rock, also 7-3, with a chance to qualify for the playoffs if another game broke properly. Entering the weekend, California (8-2) had the edge in the playoff criteria and held a 17-7 fourth quarter lead over visiting IUP. But the Crimson Hawks scored two touchdowns, the latter with less than a minute left to knock out the Vulcans. Since the California-IUP game started an hour earlier, the IUP win meant that the West Chester-Slippery Rock winner would make the playoffs.

It was rainy and cold in western Pennsylvania and the Rock scored a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead with 77 seconds left in the first half. Zwaan was 6 for 6 on the drive, completing three passes to Brent Steinmetz, one to Ruffenach and two to Washington including the 15-yards touchdown. A 14-10 lead with eight seconds left seemed pretty positive, but the kickoff still had to be made before the teams went to the locker room. On that kickoff, freshman Mike Dell forced a fumble and Brett Paterson landed on it in the end zone to extend the halftime lead to 21-10.

With the Rock trailing 21-17 midway through the fourth quarter, Rashad Grimsley intercepted a Rock pass at the West Chester one. But two plays later, the Rock intercepted the ball right back. Fortunately, the defense limited Slippery Rock to a field goal and West Chester clung to a 21-20 lead. The Rock had one last chance, but their three-time All-PSAC West kicker hooked the potential game-winning 48-yard field goal just wide left and the Golden Rams were playoff bound for a third consecutive season.

A trip to Rhode Island to take on now-FCS Bryant was at hand. The Golden Rams entered the fourth quarter with a 31-23 lead, but the Bulldogs opened the period with a touchdown. However, their two-point conversion pass attempt was intercepted by defensive lineman Michael Walter. Bryant later advanced to the West Chester 22, but a Tyler Downes intercepted a third down pass setting up a second round rematch at #6 Bloomsburg.

In the regional semi-final, the Huskies held a 21-20 halftime lead thanks to a bobbled snap on a point after touchdown. After an uneventful third quarter, the Golden Rams started the fourth quarter at their own 20-yard line. The offensive drive lasted over seven minutes and poked inside the Bloomsburg 10-yard line, but a couple of one-yard gains was followed by a sack. A good chance at a touchdown devolved to a 37-yard field goal attempt which missed wide left. The Huskies went on their own long drive - over five minutes - that involved a first-and-goal, but the Golden Rams defense held on third- and fourth-down attempts from the one. With 2:41 left, West Chester only needed a field goal and didn't need to travel the entire 99 yards in front of them. Zwaan led the team down to the Bloomsburg 24-yard line, but three incomplete passes setup a game-winning field goal attempt. However, the magic of the season ended when kick was blocked and the Huskies advanced to the regional final.

Washington and linebacker Lateef Ferguson were both named to the Daktronics Division II Football All-Northeast Region Team and as All-Americans. Ferguson was also named PSAC East Defensive Player of Year and the team that finished 9-4 was awarded the Lambert Trophy as the top Division II football team in the East. Sixteen players were named All-PSAC East with only three of them being seniors.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Event News - Adam Taliaferro All-Star Football Classic

A future Golden Ram will be participating in the Adam Taliaferro All-Star Football Classic to be held at 7:00 pm on June 29 in Richard Wackar Stadium at Rowan University. Linebacker Chris Carey of St. Joseph High School (NJ) will suit up for the Blue squad which will be coached by Pemberton’s John Rosnick. Current left tackle Doug Gilbert was the last Golden Ram to participate in this contest.

Also sponsored by the South Jersey Football Coaches Association (SJFCA), the game serves as South Jersey's senior all-star game with all proceeds going to benefit the Adam Taliaferro Foundation whose mission is to provide emotional, financial and educational support to student-athletes who suffer catastrophic head or spinal injuries in sanctioned team events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Club News - Geoff Ruth Passes Away

Long-time Golden Ram Football Club member and past president Geoff Ruth passed away on Saturday, June 18. Despite being an alumnus of Temple University, Ruth was an avid Golden Ram football fan. He served as president of the Golden Ram Football Club in 1982 and 1998-2003. Along with his wife, Lo, he edited the "Ramblings" newsletter and provided countless pictures for this web site.

Visitation is scheduled at DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home on Saturday, June 25 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am with a luncheon reception at Timothy's West Chester from noon to 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to The Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital and/or the W. Glenn Killinger Football Foundation.

Daily Local News - C. Geoffrey Ruth

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Alumni News - McDermott Hitting Homers

For the third consecutive year, former Golden Ram football captain and fullback Brian McDermott is participating in a fundraiser for Homers for Hope again this year. Homers for Hope's primary mission is to provide financial assistance to families that have suffered a traumatic life event. They were instrumental in supporting Brian and his family after the accident that cost Brian one of his legs in May 2013 and this is his way of paying it forward. In 2014, Brian and his teammate John O'Brien finished third in the competition and raised over $2,000 in the effort. And last year, they raised $4,000.

Brian will partake in a home run hitting contest on June 18 at Campbell’s Field in Camden, NJ. The driven defensive line coach at Franklin and Marshall has a goal this time to raise $5,000. Golden Ram fans can sponsor Brian in the event by making a donation on his secure donation page.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Alumni News - White, Dauphins to Elite Finals

Former Golden Ram running back Rondell White scored four touchdowns to lead the Les Dauphins de Nice to a 29-14 victory over the Les Argonautes d'Aix-en-provence in the semi-finals of the Fédération Française de Football Américain Le Championnat Elite Division playoffs.

White scored on a two-yard plunge to give the Dauphins a 10-7 second quarter lead. Later in the period, he scored on a 30-yard draw play to give the Dauphins a 16-14 lead at halftime. In the second half, a 20-yard run extended the lead to 23-14 with the final long run closing the scoring. The length of the final run, as well as his total yards on the day, are hard to judge since the distance from one 40-yard line marker to the other appears to be about five yards in total.

The Dauphins will take on Cougars de Saint-Ouen l'Aumône, a team they defeated 31-28 earlier this season, in Mont de Marsan in the Championnat Elite Finale Nationale on June 25 at 2:00 pm EDT.

American Football International - Nice Dauphins, St. Ouen Cougars advance to French Final In Thrilling Style