Thursday, October 23, 2014

Game Preview - Bloomsburg

The #7 Golden Rams (7-0, 6-0) travel to take on the #8 Bloomsburg Huskies (7-0, 6-0) on Saturday. Kickoff at Robert B. Redman Stadium is set for 2:00 pm.

Series History:

West Chester leads the overall series 47-25 and these two schools always seem to play big games. Last year was no exception as the first matchup was for the PSAC East championship and the second meeting was in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. This year is no exception as the winner will likely be the top seed when the initial NCAA regional rankings are released next week and the top team in the next ECAC Lambert Poll.

Last 10 Meetings:

Year
H/A
W/L
Score
Year
H/A
W/L
Score
2006
Away
Loss
21-20
2010
Away
Loss
45-21
2007
Home
Win
44-28
2011
Home
Loss
55-42
2008
Away
Win
24-21
2012
Away
Loss
24-23
2008
Away
Loss
28-21
2013
Home
Loss
31-28
2009
Home
Win
30-14
2013
Away
Win
40-38

Last Meeting:


11/30/2013 West Chester 40 - Bloomsburg 38

The Golden Rams avenged their only loss of the regular season when they defeated the Huskies on a frigid day in Bloomsburg in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. Although West Chester never trailed in the contest, the only time fans felt confident was after West Chester recovered the onsides kick with 34 seconds left.

The defensive stars were Ronell Williams with ten tackles and a forced fumble and Brandon Pepper who had five tackles, a forced fumble and an interception which he returned 24 yards. Quarterback Sean McCartney threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns with tight end Tim Brown hauling in five catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Scouting the Opponent:
Bloomsburg isn't putting up huge rushing yardage this season like they have in the past, but it is how they get in the end zone. Eddie Mateo (116 carries, 680 yards, 16 TD's) leads the way with Dai'Shon Munger (80 carries, 371 yards, 2 TD's) providing backup. Quarterback Tim Kelly (23 carries, 143 yards, 1 TD) broke off an 81-yard touchdown run against Millersville. When Kelly throws (66-114, 929 yards, 4 TD's, 4 interceptions), he looks for wide receivers D.J. McFadden (16 catches, 309 yards, 2 TD's), Trent Daniels (12 catches, 174 yards), and Connor Glades (12 catches, 165 yards, 1 TD). Bloomsburg hasn't been using their tight ends in the passing game like they used to.

All-PSAC East Lawrence Elliott leads the conference in punt returns with a 21.4 yard average per return. He also handles kickoff returns as well. Will Wagner has landed 11 of his 31 punts inside the opponent 20 and is third in the conference with a 40.4 yards average per punt. Kicker Braden Drexler is 26 of 30 on PAT's and 6 of 10 on field goals with a long of 39 yards.

Defensively Bloomsburg leads the PSAC in scoring at 14.3 points per game. They're immediately ahead of West Chester in yardage surrendering just 308 yards per contest. Linebackers Justin Shirk (60 tackles, 7.0 sacks) and Garrett Pope (33 tackles, 3 TFL's) clog up the middle. DJ Robinson (20 tackles, 2 interceptions) and Donovan Morris (37 tackles, 3 interceptions) have half of the team's PSAC leading 10 interceptions.

Analysis:
Everyone thinks that Bloomsburg is a ground oriented team, and they’re probably right from the fact that they run twice as often as they pass, 291 to 142. That seemed to be the approach that West Chester took in both games last year against the Huskies, almost daring Kelly to beat them. In the regular season game at Farrell Stadium, he threw for 262 yards to complement their 310 yards on the ground to answer the dare. In West Chester’s win at Redman Stadium, Kelly threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns while the Golden Rams “limited” Bloomsburg to 268 yards on the ground. Those two games were Bloomsburg’s highest passing yardage outputs of 2013. Without Harlon Hill winner Franklyn Quiteh, Bloomsburg’s rushing game is averaging over 110 yards less per game than last year while the Husky pass yardage is only off 30 yards per contest. The bottom line is, the Golden Ram defense should be more weary of Kelly in this game.

California and Shippensburg were the two teams that came closest to defeating the Huskies this season and they both used a balanced offense attack. Fortunately West Chester’s offense is fairly balanced with some favoritism toward the pass which should be beneficial. The Golden Rams have several choices to carry as well as catch the ball and will likely use all of them as usual. The offensive success will probably come down to how well the line performs in opening holes for the running backs and protecting the quarterback.

Game Coverage:

Live Stats   Audio  

D2football - PSAC Columnist - Preview Week 8 in the PSAC
D2football - National Columnist - Bob Eblen - National Columnist

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Club News - October 23 Meeting

The Golden Ram Football Club will be meeting on Thursday at 7:45pm at Timothy's in the Parkway Shopping Center in West Chester. The meeting will begin immediately following the Bill Zwaan Football Show which is also held at Timothy's starting at 7:00pm. Golden Ram fans unable to attend the show can listen to it live on WCHE1520AM.COM. The meeting will not be broadcast.

According to the Bill Zwaan Football Show facebook page, sixth year quarterback Sean McCartney and senior left guard James Colivas will be the special guests on Coach Zwaan's show. In West Chester's 55-28 homecoming win over Shippensburg, McCartney was 17 of 29 for 393 yards and five touchdowns and was named PSAC East Offensive Athlete of the Week. Colivas leads an offensive line that is surrendering only 1.14 sacks per contest and an offense that is gaining 513 yards per game.












Come out to Timothy's at 7:00pm to participate in the show live.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Team News - Second 2014 Lambert Poll

The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has released the second Lambert Meadowlands football poll of the 2014 season. West Chester University remains #1 on the list. The Golden Rams take on #2 Bloomsburg on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The Lambert Meadowlands Trophy recognizes supremacy in Eastern college football.

Ranking
School
Overall Record
1.
West Chester
7-0
2.
Bloomsburg
7-0
3.
California
6-1
4.
East Stroudsburg
6-1
5.
LIU Post
5-2
6.
American International
5-2
7.
Indiana
5-2
8.
Slippery Rock
5-2
9.
Gannon
5-2
10.
St Anselm
5-2

Monday, October 20, 2014

Team News - Golden Rams Rise to #7 in AFCA Poll

After West Chester's 55-28 homecoming win over Shippensburg, the Golden Rams (7-0, 6-0) rose to #7 in the most recent coaches' poll. Previous #1 Northwest Missouri St, #7 Ohio Dominican, #8 Shepherd and #9 Delta St all lost clearing room among the top ten. However, Ferris St, which is the team that defeated Ohio Dominican, jumped from #11 to #6. West Chester also rose to #7 in the D2football.com poll.

Quarterback Sean McCartney is now third in the country in passing efficiency with a 175.8 rating and the Golden Ram team passing efficiency is also third at 177.9. Team total offense is 11th with 513 yards per game, 12th in passing with 333 yards per game and 13th in scoring with 43.6 points per game. The offense is sixth in third down conversions at a rate of 52.1% and the line has yielded only 1.14 sacks per game which is 21st in the nation.

The team defense continues to be highly ranked in several categories - 19th in scoring at 16.0 points per game, 12th in passing efficiency at 95.3, 27th in total yardage with 311 yards per game, and first in fourth down conversions at 11.8%. Defensive end Andrew Cohen is 15th in the country in sacks with 1.0 sack per game and cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz is 27th in passes defended with 1.4 per game.

The team is 23rd in the country in net punting at 36.6 yards per punt, but just like last season, punter Rich Bruno is not listed among the individual leaders as he is three punts shy of consideration.

West Chester's next action is Saturday at 2:00pm when they travel to take on #8 Bloomsburg (7-0, 6-0).

American Football Coaches Association - Division II Coaches’ Poll – October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Player News - McCartney Selected as PSAC East Offensive Athlete of the Week

After his huge effort in West Chester's 55-28 victory over Shippensburg, sixth-year senior quarterback Sean McCartney has been named PSAC Eastern Division Offensive Athlete of the Week. McCartney was 17 of 29 for 393 yards and five touchdowns for a 229.4 efficiency rating. He was 13 of 23 for 259 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. West Chester did not attempt a pass in the last 14 minutes of the game.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Game Report - West Chester 55 - Shippensburg 28

The Golden Rams maintained their undefeated record when they toppled Shippensburg in front of almost 7,000 people on homecoming by a score of 55-28.

Taking advantage of a couple of extra days of preparation as well as Shippensburg’s poor pass defense, the Golden Ram offense opened up with a 90-yard touchdown pass from Sean McCartney to tight end Tim Brown. Shippensburg tried to answer with some razzle dazzle as their opening play was a flea flicker which resulted in Sheldon Mayer making a great diving catch on quarterback Ryan Zapoticky ‘s 47-yard pass. However, the Golden Ram defense kept the Raiders off the board on Drew Formica’s fourth-down sack. Shippensburg made short work of getting to the end zone on their next possession with runs of 42 and 25 yards from Blair Brooks.

With West Chester scoring so quickly and Shippensburg showing that they still had the ability to also do so even without starting quarterback Chris Lawshe, the Golden Rams went on a more deliberate 93-yard, 12-play, 4:23 touchdown drive. The Golden Ram defense had been expecting to be facing one of the best quarterbacks in the PSAC in Lawshe and spent the first half in nickel and dime packages. Every defensive back in uniform received significant playing time and with few targets available, Zapoticky was sacked five times in the first half and managed to escape several close calls. Zapoticky would only complete one of his five pass attempts in the third quarter before he was lifted due to an unknown injury. Shippensburg then ran almost exclusively out of the wildcat on one drive. Finally, Lawshe was inserted into the game but did not attempt a pass. As a result, the Raiders rushed 57 times instead of their normal 42 attempts and it took West Chester a little while to adjust defensively to the one-dimensional nature of the Shippensburg offense.


Meanwhile McCartney and the offense picked apart the Shippensburg secondary as he threw for 259 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. Brandon Monk (84 yards) , Eddie Elliott (63 yards), and Jarel Elder (41 yards) all had rushing touchdowns to go along with their yards. Elliott also had three catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Brown got key blocks from James Colivas and Antoine Bland on a little backside screen that turned into a 21-yard touchdown.


Defensive end Andrew Cohen had another monster game leading the Golden Rams with eight tackles, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. Linebacker Ronell Williams returned to action after missing the last three games due to a knee injury suffered at Seton Hill and logged seven tackles and a sack. Dan Sherry had six tackles and his first collegiate sack to thwart Shippensburg’s late first-half drive.


Special teams didn’t have a particularly good game. Kicker Rich Bruno missed a PAT and a 35-yard field goal attempt. Elder fumbled a fourth quarter punt giving Shippensburg the ball at the West Chester 11-yard line which set up the Raiders’ third touchdown. And Pat McCabe had a rough first quarter as he was flagged for holding on West Chester’s first two kickoff returns and roughing the kicker on Shippensburg’s first punt.

Ultimately it was a big win by a big margin in front of a big crowd and West Chester remains undefeated on the season. But the game also shows how some teams are vulnerable when one key player gets hurt. Think back to last year's game at Shippensburg. And if this year's West Chester team was without McCartney and Derr for some reason, they would surely have Moriarty throw the ball rather than run wildcat or hand off for the better part of the second half.

D2football - PSAC Columnist - PSAC Week 7 Headlines

Friday, October 17, 2014

Alumni News - DePalma in CFL Update

Despite former Golden Ram wide receiver Dan DePalma's two catches for 22 yards on Monday, the Montreal Alouettes throttled the Saskatchewan Riders 40-9. DePalma also logged a tackle after an interception. Although he only has six receptions in three games this season, DePalma is seventh on the team in receiving yards with 161 for an average of 26.8 yards per reception. The Riders' next action is Sunday, October 19th at 4:00 pm when they host Edmonton.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Game Preview - Shippensburg

It's homecoming for the #10 Golden Rams (6-0, 5-0) when they host Shippensburg (3-3, 2-3) on Saturday at 2:00 pm in Farrell Stadium.

Series History:

West Chester leads the overall series 24-10-1. In his 11 years at West Chester, Bill Zwaan is 9-3 against the Raiders. In the final regular season game of the 2004 season, Shippensburg knocked off the Golden Rams at Farrell Stadium in overtime. But two weeks later in the second round of the NCAA playoffs, West Chester avenged that loss in Shippensburg. West Chester took the next four contests during the Golden Rams' run of qualifying for the NCAA playoffs from 2005-2008. Shippensburg won in 2009 and went on to win the PSAC championship that season.

In one of the most memorable games in West Chester football history, current Golden Ram quarterback Sean McCartney made his first collegiate start and threw for 444 yards and five touchdowns to lead West Chester to a 44-43 victory in two overtimes in a nationally televised Thursday night game in 2010. The following year, West Chester laid a 52-17 loss on the Raiders, but Shippensburg returned the favor in 2012, beating West Chester 42-24 on homecoming at Farrell Stadium and continued on the PSAC championship game and the NCAA playoffs that year. Last year was the Golden Rams' turn again as they won a thrilling contest and advanced to the NCAA Division II semi-finals.

Last 10 Meetings:

Year
H/A
W/L
Score
Year
H/A
W/L
Score
2004
Away
Win
33-28
2009
Away
Loss
24-19
2005
Away
Win
24-16
2010
Home
Win
44-43 2OT
2006
Home
Win
24-0
2011
Away
Win
52-17
2007
Away
Win
34-29
2012
Home
Loss
42-24
2008
Home
Win
25-7
2013
Away
Win
32-29

Last Meeting:


10/26/2013 West Chester 32 - Shippensburg 29

Fans have experienced some great games between these two teams in recent years, and last year was no exception. Leading the fourth quarter comeback was quarterback Andrew Derr who tossed a touchdown pass to Adam Dempsey and then Shannon Mayer threw the game-tying two-point conversion to Jared Bonacquisti with seven minutes left. After each team had a turnover and a missed field goal, Shawn Leo kicked the game winning 26-yard field goal into a stiff wind with one second left. Ronell Williams had ten tackles and Brandon Pepper had seven tackles and an interception which he returned 34 yards.

Scouting the Opponent:
Shippensburg puts up a lot of points, but they also give up a lot of points. Their lowest offensive output of the season was 30 points and that was in a loss to undefeated Bloomsburg. The offense is more balanced than it has been in recent years as running back Blair Brooks is averaging 100 yards per game and rushed for 155 yards in last year's game against West Chester. Quarterback Chris Lawshe has great passing numbers due in large part to All-American wide receiver Trevor Harman who holds the PSAC record for career receptions. And Harman has gashed West Chester in his previous three meetings: 18 catches, 274 yards and 6 touchdowns. But also key is speedy 5'7" wide receiver Sheldon Mayer, brother of Golden Ram receiver Shannon Mayer. Mayer, Sheldon that is, also returns punts for the Raiders and was All-PSAC East as both a receiver and return specialist. Tight end Alex Kuljian was All-PSAC East last season, but hasn't significantly factored into the offensive statistics in 2014. Michael Lloyd handles the punting duties better than the place kicking tasks.

All-PSAC East linebacker Brian Sourber is the Raiders' leader on defense. He is among Shippensburg's leading tacklers and already has a pick six and a blocked kick this season. Fellow linebacker James Brennan leads the Raiders in tackles. Cornerback Phil Boyd was All-PSAC East last season, but was injured during the California game and has not returned. Defensive end Sean Sadosky is the most likely to get into the Golden Ram backfield.

Analysis:
These two teams have faced each other on homecoming each of the past two years with the visiting team winning each time. Saturday is West Chester's homecoming. And don't be fooled by the three losses on the Raiders' record as they've faced much competition losing to California, Bloomsburg and East Stroudsburg.

The Shippensburg pass defense is last in the conference. And although they've faced some of the most pass-oriented offenses in the conference in East Stroudsburg, California, Seton Hill and Edinboro, even Bloomsburg doubled their season passing average with over 250 yards in their win over the Raiders. The Golden Ram defense will be tested, however, and must do so honestly. The Raiders are among the PSAC's best in both rushing yards and passing yards as well as points. If the West Chester D can figure out how to stop Lawshe, Harman, Mayer and Brooks, it will go a long way to success. But that's a tall order.

Game Coverage:


D2football - PSAC Columnist - Week 7 PSAC Preview