Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Club News - September 29 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, senior free safety Kyle Keyser and junior right guard Tyler Drob will be the special guests on Coach Zwaan's show. Against Lock Haven, Keyser had six total tackles and a pass breakup. Drob was part of an offensive line that rolled up 209 yards rushing and 294 yards passing in the 37-7 win on Saturday night.

Come out to Timothy's at 7:00pm to participate in the show live. Or send your questions for coach or the players to Bill Zwaan Show.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Team News - Golden Rams in PSAC Statistics

West Chester scored their average 37 points against Lock Haven and moved up to 6th in the PSAC in scoring. The Golden Ram offense remains 3rd in total offense with 538.0 yards per game, with the passing game remaining second with 366.0 yards per game. Kickoff return improved to 12th and coverage improved to 13th among the 16 teams in the conference. The Golden Ram defense is 5th in first downs allowed with just 18.3 per game and leads the PSAC in third-down conversion at 24.1%. West Chester is second to last in penalty yards with 97.0 yards per game with 12 opponent first downs coming via the penalty marker.

In individual categories, running back Jarel Elder slipped to 5th in rushing yardage with 105.5 yards per game and quarterback Andrew Derr remains 2nd in passing yards with 361.8 yards per game. Wide receiver Tyler Karpinski remains 8th with 87.0 yards per contest.

Kicker Brendan Paulison remains 3rd in kick scoring with 33 points and 3rd in field goals with 1.3 per game. Anthony Brown is 5th in punt returns with 13.5 yards per return.

Linebacker Ralph Reeves rose to 6th in tackles for loss with 1.67 per game, despite not playing against Lock Haven. Cornerback Shaquille James is 5th in the conference with 1.67 passes defended per contest while linebacker Kevin Duggan is third in the PSAC in fumble recoveries with 0.50 per game.

West Chester travels to Kutztown Saturday night for a 6:00 pm kickoff.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Game Report - West Chester 37 - Lock Haven 7

On Lock Haven’s first series of the contest, when their third-down screen pass attempt got blown up and resulted in a 12-yard sack and forced fumble credited to Josh Ganzelli, this game had a different feel from the prior three. The Golden Rams would score on three of their first four drives while the defense forced the Bald Eagles into four punts and two turnovers to stake a 16-0 halftime lead. West Chester would go on to win 37-7, evening their overall record at 2-2 and going 1-0 in the PSAC East.

Quarterback Andrew Derr finished 21 of 36 for 294 yards and three touchdowns passing to go along with 50 yards and two scores rushing. His passing line was certainly affected by dropped passes – four by Golden Ram receivers and two by Lock Haven defenders. Derr’s top targets were Jordan Banks (5 catches, 113 yards, 2 touchdowns), Tyler Karpinski (8 catches, 75 yards) and Eerin Young (3 catches, 61 yards, 1 touchdown). Not to be overlooked was the success of the running game. Unlike last week when a couple of big plays contributed to the total, seven different players had double-digit rushing yards with the longest run of the night being 22 yards. Jarel Elder led the way with 87 yards in the game.

The West Chester defense played a huge part in the victory. Lock Haven entered the game averaging over 350 passing yards per game, but managed only 163 yards through the air against the Golden Rams. Seven different defenders registered pass breakups led by Kevin Malone and Ted Patton who each had two. Patton also grabbed his second interception of the season. Safety Kyle Keyser and linebacker Steven Denby each had a team-high six tackles.

Kicker/punter Brendan Paulison had an up and down game. He missed his first PAT of the season, going 4 of 5 on the day and was 1 of 2 on field goals, making a 20-yarder but hooking a 39-yard attempt. But Paulison’s kickoffs were deep and outside the numbers and his only punt of the game was spectacular, downed at the Lock Haven 1-yard line with 39 second left in the first half. With all three time outs in their pocket and the way the defense had been playing, this appeared to be an opportunity for more points for West Chester. But consecutive defensive pass interference penalties by the Golden Rams thwarted any further scoring in the half.

Penalties were once again an issue as the Golden Rams were flagged ten times for 105 yards resulting in five of Lock Haven’s 21 first downs. Four were of the 15-yard variety including an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Nydair Rouse on the play prior to Lock Haven’s only score of the game. All in all, it was a good win, but keep in mind that the opponent is still seeking its first win of the season.

Notes - West Chester had only a total of 11 possessions in the game, compared to last week’s game at Edinboro when they 11 possessions in the second half alone…wide receiver Shannon Mayer played sparingly early in the game, but his hamstring kept him from getting a reception…Pat Moriarty was on the field as a receiver but did not register a catch…Phil Mitten, grandson of former West Chester head coach Dr. Robert Mitten, saw action on special teams.

SunGazette.com - Bald Eagles fall at WCU

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Game Preview - Lock Haven

The Golden Rams (1-2) open PSAC East play when they host the Lock Haven Bald Eagles (0-3). Kickoff on Family Day at John A. Farrell Stadium is scheduled for 6:00pm Saturday.

Series History:

West Chester holds a 22-6-1 lead in the series. Current WCU head coach Bill Zwaan is undefeated in his previous five meetings with the Bald Eagles. Head coach Dave Taynor is in his second season at Lock Haven. He finished last season with a record of 2-9 and is 0-3 so far this year after losing to Slippery Rock last week. This year's Lock Haven team is quite different than 2015 as Taynor signed 40 new players during recruiting.

Last 10 Meetings:

Year
H/A
W/L
Score
Year
H/A
W/L
Score
1952
Home
Win
74-7
2008
Home
Win
37-6
1954
Home
Win
32-0
2009
Away
Win
43-0
1955
Away
Win
20-0
2013
Away
Win
34-13
1990
Away
Win
28-27
2014
Home
Win
41-6
1991
Home
Loss
13-7
2015
Away
Win
33-9

Last Meeting:


10/04/2014 West Chester 33 - Lock Haven 9

West Chester overcame a mistake-filled first half and scored the final 27 points of the game en route to a 33-9 win in a rain soaked affair in Lock Haven. Offensively, quarterback Pat Moriarty threw for 185 yards and three touchdowns while Jarel Elder picked up 72 yards on 17 carries and added another 18 yards on five catches. Receiver Jim Hurley hauled in four catches for 62 yards.

The defense was led by Nydair Rouse who had seven tackles, an interception, and two pass breakups. Linebacker Zack Hockman had three tackles including a sack, defensive end John Dubyk also had a sack, and Pete Galiano had three tackles and an interception. Brandon Paulison converted on field goals of 31 and 32 yards and landed three of his five punts inside the Bald Eagle 20-yard line.

Scouting the Opponent:
After two weeks, Lock Haven had the top ranked passing offense in the country, but two losses to show for it. After last week's loss to Slippery Rock, the Bald Eagles dropped to third in the PSAC in passing yardage. Quarterback Caleb Walton (71 of 134 for 1,083 yards, 6 TD's, 1 INT) is third in the PSAC in passing yardage, primarily targeting Kutztown transfer Shawn Seif (25 catches, 550 yards, 4 TD's) who's the top receiver in the conference. Tight end Del'Vaughn Dennis (19 catches, 265 yards 1 TD), a former West Chester recruit and Urbana transfer wide receiver Dan Krupko (8 catches, 101 yards) are also among the conference leaders. At running back, Albright transfer Malyk Harris (51 carries, 154 yards, 2 TD's) was All-PSAC East last season, although the running game isn't the Bald Eagles' strong suit.

On special teams, true freshman Nysir Minney-Gratz handles the returns while classmate Ethan Harroz handles all of the kicking chores.

The 3-5-3 defense is led by Urbana transfer linebacker Kevin Chapple (32 total tackles, 7.0 TFL) is third in the PSAC in tackles and tackles for loss while free safety Isaiah Flamer (19 total tackles, 2 INT's) is sixth in the conference in tackles. Nose guard freshman Allen McCloud (5 total tackles, 3.5 TFL's) is among the leaders in tackles for loss despite missing last week's game. Defensive end Brandon Clements (11 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss) anchors the defensive line. Besides Flamer, in the secondary, look for cornerback Carlos Balkcom (19 total tackles, 5 pass breakups).

Analysis:
Out 16 teams in the PSAC, the Lock Haven defense ranks 15th in points allowed (48.0), total yards allowed (566.3) and passing yards allowed (445.0), so this game would look to be a field day for Andrew Derr and whatever receivers are available to him so long as interceptions are minimized. However, as seen above, Lock Haven's passing offense is potent in its own right, so the Golden Ram secondary will be tested similarly to last week at Edinboro. West Chester only has four sacks on the season, but putting pressure on Walton may be the best way to thwart their aerial attack and force some picks. On paper, this game looks to put a strain on the scoreboard lights.

Both Massey Ratings and Atomic Football are projecting a 20-point West Chester victory.

Game Coverage:


West Chester Athletic Site - Depth Chart - 9/24 vs Lock Haven
D2football - PSAC Columnist - Week 4 - Divisional Play Begins in the PSAC

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Club News - September 22 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, junior wide receiver Marcus Sydnor and junior linebacker Kevin Duggan will be the special guests on Coach Zwaan's show. At Edinboro, Sydnor had four catches for 84 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns to tie the game. He had catches on all four passes to which he was targeted. Defensively, Duggan had eight total tackles including five solo tackles to lead the Golden Rams in both categories. He was also credited with a pass breakup.

Come out to Timothy's at 7:00pm to participate in the show live. Or send your questions for coach or the players to Bill Zwaan Show.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Player News - Derr Honored by ECAC

For his effort in West Chester's 54-51 2OT loss at Edinboro, junior quarterback Andrew Derr was named ECAC Offensive Player of the Week. He completed 39 of 70 pass attempts for 559 yards and four touchdowns. Derr set West Chester single game records in pass attempts, completions and yards.
Derr was also named West Chester University male Athlete of the Week sponsored by The Desmond.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Team News - Golden Rams in PSAC Statistics

Despite averaging 36.7 points per game, West Chester is only 7th in the PSAC in scoring. The Golden Rams are 3rd in total offense with 549.7 yards per game, due in large part to their 2nd ranked passing game of 390.0 yards per game. Both kickoff coverage and kickoff return is ranked 14th among the 16 teams in the conference. The Golden Ram defense is 4th in first downs allowed with just 17.3 per game and second in third-down conversion at 21.7%. West Chester is last in penalty yards with 94.3 yards per game.

In individual categories, running back Jarel Elder is 4th in rushing yardage with 111.7 yards per game and quarterback Andrew Derr is 2nd in passing yards with 384.3 yards per game. Wide receiver Shannon Mayer is 5th in receiving with 100.5 yards per game while Tyler Karpinski is 8th with 91.0 yards per contest.

Kicker Brendan Paulison is 3rd in kick scoring with 24 points and 3rd in field goals with 1.3 per game. Anthony Brown is 4th in punt returns with 13.3 yards per return.

Defensive end Ch'aim Smith is the Golden Rams' top tackler with 6.3 per game which is good for 37th in the PSAC. Linebacker Ralph Reeves is 10th in tackles for loss with 1.67 per game. Cornerback Shaquille James is 2nd in the conference with 2.0 passes defended per contest while linebacker Kevin Duggan leads the PSAC in fumble recoveries with 1.67 per game.

West Chester takes on winless Lock Haven Saturday night at 6:00 pm.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Game Report - Edinboro 54 - West Chester 51 2OT

If you didn’t make the tortuous trip to the northwest corner of the state, but saw the Golden Rams’ first two games of the season, it’ll be easy to explain. The game at Edinboro had the furious comeback of Bentley; all the interceptions, costly penalties and big plays allowed (especially on special teams) of both games; and the ultimate result of Slippery Rock. It took two extra periods of football, but West Chester succumbed to Edinboro by a score of 54-51.

The Fighting Scots scored rather easily on their opening drive, but Andrew Derr connected with Jordan Banks for the game tying touchdown midway through the opening period. It appeared to be a game, until West Chester’s demons appeared.

Were the penalties costly? Of Edinboro’s 18 first downs in the game, seven came via Golden Ram penalties. Were the interceptions big? Although the three first half picks only led to three Edinboro points, all three were in Edinboro territory. One was returned 21 yards with a 15-yard facemask penalty tacked on while another occurred in the end zone and was returned 69 yards. The third had no return since the defensive back was on the ground when he caught it.

Besides those, putting the Golden Ram defense on its heels, Edinboro had a 67-yard punt return when seven West Chester players surrounded the return man at the point of the catch. And the defense allowed a 59-yard touchdown pass. Big plays mean the opponent is never out of the game. And all that was just in the first half and left West Chester trailing 24-7 at intermission.

If all that wasn’t disastrous enough, wide receiver Tyler Karpinski, already suffering from a hard hit last week against Slippery Rock, took an illegal hit late in the second quarter that resulted in the Edinboro player being ejected from the game. The Golden Rams were already playing the game without senior receivers Shannon Mayer and Jim Hurley, and a 17-point deficit without the best receiver in uniform didn’t bode well for a comeback. Karpinski returned to the bench after halftime carrying his shoulder pads. He would remain on the sidelines until West Chester’s first two possessions of the second half yielded no points, at which point, his pads went back on.

Maybe it was Karpinski’s presence, maybe it was that West Chester’s defense forced two consecutive three-and-outs, maybe it was the shanked Edinboro punt that gave the Golden Rams the ball in Edinboro territory, but Jarel Elder went around the right side for a 44-yard touchdown run to breathe new life into West Chester. Edinboro led 24-14 entering the fourth quarter, and that’s when the fireworks really started.

Aided by a couple of pass interference penalties, Edinboro extended their lead to 14 points, but Elder came back with an 80-yard touchdown run to close the gap to seven points again. After the two teams exchanged field goals, Edinboro ripped off a 79-yard kickoff return to set up another easy score. Derr completed passes to Jordan Banks, Lex Rosario and Marcus Sydnor, the last one being a 27-yard touchdown.

Trailing 41-34 with a little over three minutes left, West Chester lined up for the onside kick. Kicker Brendan Paulison lined the ball off an Edinboro player and it ricocheted right back to him. It took just a 95 seconds for Derr to drive the Golden Rams into the end zone with a game-tying touchdown pass to Syndor. But there were still almost two minutes left.

The Golden Ram defense forced another three-and out, their seventh of the game. But things looked hopeless when Derr threw his fourth interception of the contest. However, three plays later, West Chester cornerback Ted Patton intercepted the ball right back. Derr hooked up with Karpinski twice and Rosario to get down to the Edinboro 8-yard line with just 12 seconds left. After positioning the ball in the middle of the field, head coach Bill Zwaan sent Paulison out for the potential game-winning field goal. Paulison had had a great game – perfect on his two field goal and five PAT attempts, averaged 42 yards on six punts including putting two inside the 20, and sending two of his eight kickoffs for touchbacks. And don’t forget about the successful onside kick. But he unfortunately failed to convert from 30 yards on his ultimate opportunity to be the hero.

The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime. However, West Chester had to settle for a field goal in the second frame. During Edinboro’s possession, the Fighting Scots threw two incomplete passes before picking up nine yards on the ground. In a gutsy fourth-down move, rather than attempt a tying 33-yard field goal, or plunge for one yard and another set of downs, Edinboro completed a pass to the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. West Chester’s frantic comeback was for naught.

Elder, who had just 10 yards at halftime, finished with 193 on the ground. Derr threw a school record 70 times for a school record 559 yards and four touchdowns, but also four interceptions. Despite his injuries, Karpinski had a bigger second half than the first, finishing with nine catches for 178 yards and a score. Offensively, the Golden Rams rolled up 758 yards with 567 yards coming after halftime.

After giving up 54 points, it’s hard to say the defense played well. But they held Edinboro to 349 yards, just 18 first downs, and just 3 of 18 on third down conversions. Linebackers Ralph Reeves and Kevin Duggan each had eight tackles, with Reeves leaving the game early due to an injury. John Dubyk and Kavon Johnson each registered a sack in the game while Shaquille James had five tackles and two pass breakups with one coming in the end zone.

Notes - It’s the most points scored by West Chester in a loss since a 58-55 loss at Delaware in 1994. In 1990, Division II New Haven beat the Golden Rams at Farrell Stadium by a score of 58-57...also not in uniform due to an injury was senior safety and captain Kevin Malone...West Chester has now lost four of its last five games against the PSAC West

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Game Preview - Edinboro

The Golden Rams (1-1) travel to Edinboro to take on the Fighting Scots (2-0) on Saturday. Kickoff for the first game in Sox Harrison Stadium this season is scheduled for noon.

Series History:

West Chester narrowly leads the all time series 5-4 with the last meeting coming in 2010. Although these two teams play infrequently, Edinboro has a habit of spoiling significant events for the Golden Rams. In 2006 on the first game played on Farrell Stadium's new FieldTurf, the Fighting Scots prevailed 28-14. And then in the 2010 home opener, on Michael Horrocks Day, when the statue of the former Golden Ram quarterback and United Airlines pilot was unveiled, Edinboro tipped West Chester 16-14. West Chester has not lost in Edinboro since 1970, having won under head coach Bill Zwaan 32-16 in 2007. Justin Lustig, an Edinboro alumnus, is in his first season as a head coach after serving as an assistant at several schools, most recently at Ball State University.

After finishing 2015 with an 0-11 record, the Fighting Scots are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2011. They opened with a 31-30 victory at St. Josephs's (IN) (the Pumas finished 5-6 last season) and then a 44-38 win at Lock Haven. Edinboro last qualified for the NCAA playoffs in 2009, earning a first-round win over East Stroudsburg before falling 84-63 to West Liberty.

Their most famous recent football alumnus is Trevor Harris who, after spending four season with the Toronto Argonauts, is now the starting quarterback of the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.

Last 10 Meetings:

Year
H/A
W/L
Score
Year
H/A
W/L
Score
2000
Home
Loss
13-6
1970
Away
Loss
14-6
2001
Away
Win
30-26
1971
Home
Win
35-14
2006
Home
Loss
24-18
1986
Home
Win
37-9
2007
Away
Win
32-16
1987
Away
Win
49-28
2010
Home
Loss
16-14


Last Meeting:


9/11/2010 Edinboro 16 - West Chester 14

Despite outgaining Edinboro by nearly a two-to-one margin, the Fighting Scots took advantage of West Chester mistakes to score a 16-14 win at Farrell Stadium. D'Andre Webb gave the Golden Rams an early 7-0 lead on a 31-yard touchdown run. But a West Chester interception not only thwarted a potential scoring drive, but led directly to Edinboro's first touchdown of the afternoon. Early in the second quarter, Edinboro took the lead on a safety after a sack and fumble that was recovered in the end zone by the Golden Rams. The score would remain 9-7 in favor of Edinboro until early in the fourth quarter when the Fighting Scots sacked West Chester on a fourth and two attempt. Three plays later, Edinboro took a 16-7 lead. Edinboro would then intercept Golden Ram passes at the five and the three. Rondell White would score a touchdown to close the lead to 16-14 with two minutes left, but Edinboro recovered the ensuing onsides kick to end the game. In all, West Chester committed five turnovers to Edinboro's one, seven penalties to Edinboro's one, and allowed three sacks.

Scouting the Opponent:
Edinboro's best player last year was two-time All-PSAC West wide receiver Darren Massey. But Massey has since transferred to Slippery Rock.

Edinboro's defense appears to be a high risk, high reward variety. After two games, they lead the PSAC in sacks with 11, but they are second to last in passing yards allowed with 394 yards/game. Redshirt freshman Victor Hudson (21 tackles, 6.0 sacks for 34 yards), who's listed as a linebacker but lines up at defensive end, is the reigning PSAC West Defensive Athlete of the Week, the PSAC leader in sacks and ranks third in the conference in tackles. Josh Kibbie (6 tackles, 2.5 TFL's) is at nose guard. The linebackers include California transfer Mike Shansky (11 tackles, 2.5 TFL), sophomore Trey Hall (11 tackles) and Austin Meitz (10 tackles, 2.5 TFL). In the secondary, sophomore cornerback Zuril Handrick and safety Jake Leber each have an interception while redshirt freshman safety Brandon Anderson has three pass breakups.

Offensively, the running game isn't the focus, but redshirt freshman and Randolph Macon transfer Walter Fletcher (33 carries, 194 yards, 2 TD's, 8 catches, 161 yards, 1 TD) is 7th in the PSAC with almost 100 yards/game on the ground. Junior quarterback Jake Sisson (58 of 95 for 720 yards, 7 TD's, 3 int's) is among the top signal callers in the PSAC and seems fully healthy after missing the final two games last season due to an injury. Besides Fletcher, Sisson's top targets are sophomore James Clark (17 catches, 258 yards, 2 TD's), Robert Morris transfer Alex Caratelli (13 catches, 118 yards, 1 TD) and true freshman Ta'Nauz Gregory (11 catches, 109 yards, 2 TD's).

St. Francis transfer Austin Reese handles all of the kicking duties, averaging 62 yards on kickoffs with two touchbacks, averaging 41 yards on punts with three inside the 20 and 64-yard punts in each of Edinboro's first two games, while converting on all of his place kicks: two field goals and nine PAT's. Thomas and Gregory handle kick and punt returns.

Analysis:
At Lock Haven, Edinboro had touchdown pass plays of 99 yards and 57 yards, but they also allowed passing touchdowns of 87 yards and 46 yards. Certainly Lock Haven isn't the best competition, but the Fighting Scots have shown they have big play capability. Couple that with West Chester's susceptibility to give up the big play, and this could be an area of concern. And who on the Golden Ram offense will step up to make the big play?

The bottom line is this isn't the Edinboro team that went winless in 2015. They have a new coach and after two early wins a renewed confidence. The Golden Rams need to move past the Slippery Rock loss and give the Fighting Scots the necessary attention.

Massey Ratings favors the Golden Rams by 10 while Atomic Football shows a margin of 15.


Game Coverage: