Friday, July 29, 2016

Team News - Season Television Schedule Released

The SPORTSfever Television Network has released its broadcast schedule for the 2016 season and the Golden Rams are set to appear at least four times.

Three of West Chester's five home games are set to air - Slippery Rock, Shippensburg and Millersville. All three game will be noon starts. The Slippery Rock contest was originally scheduled to be a noon kickoff, but the other two games were moved to noon to accommodate television. West Chester will also appear on SPORTSfever when they travel to Bloomsburg for the Huskies' homecoming contest on October 15. Check local listings for the channel that will air the broadcast.

September 10
12:00 pm
October 8
12:00 pm
October 15
2:00 pm
Bloomsburg's Homecoming
November 5
12:00 pm

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 1956

The 1956 season opened with local rival Delaware. The Blue Hens were coming off an 8-1 season in which they defeated Lafayette, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rutgers, Temple and Bucknell. However, they had not faced West Chester since laying a 40-6 whipping on the Golden Rams in 1954. This year in Newark, although it was not a wide margin, West Chester beat the Blue Hens in heartbreaking fashion with a late field goal, 10-7.

The Golden Rams then edged King's 21-19. Then in their first ever meeting, West Chester lost 33-7 to New Haven State Teachers College, which became Southern Connecticut State three years later. The Golden Rams then ran the table, knocking off Drexel, California (in their first ever meeting), East Stroudsburg, Millersville and Bloomsburg. With the 7-1 record, Dr. W. Glenn Killinger not only extended his streak of non-losing seasons as head coach at West Chester, he also won the conference crown by virtue of the Saylor Points System.

On the all-conference team, there was no first team and second team, no east and west. Just eleven players from the entire league. West Chester team captain and left guard Joe Chilbert and Golden Ram left tackle Lyndon Sorber each claimed spots. They both are now in the Killinger Football Hall of Fame.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 1966

Bob Mitten's first full season at the helm of the Golden Rams was a successful one. In its history, West Chester had been to five bowl games and three conference championship games, but it had never done both in the same season. Until 1966.

The campaign opened at Ithaca which was coming off an 8-0 season the year prior. The Golden Rams came home from the Finger Lakes with a 13-3 victory. West Chester then picked up a home win over Shippensburg which was then in the western division. Three straight wins over division rivals East Stroudsburg, Millersville and Bloomsburg had the Golden Rams sitting at 5-0. A trip to nearby Villanova (1-3) resulted in a 15-0 loss. Despite being significantly undersized on the lines, West Chester held Villanova to -20 yards rushing and just two first downs in the first half and held the Wildcats scoreless until the final five minutes of the game. Then after an interception got returned to the Golden Ram 15-yard line, Villanova got their final score with less than a minute left. The Wildcats would go on to finish the season 6-3.

West Chester would then romp over division foes Kutztown, Mansfield and Cheyney by a combined score of 122-7, sending them to the Pennsylvania State College Athletic Conference Championship Game against Clarion. On a frigid November afternoon in West Chester, despite dominating the game statistically, the Golden Rams found themselves trailing 21-6 midway through the third quarter. But a one-yard touchdown run by Bert Nye, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Jim Haynie to Don Wilkinson and another touchdown run by Nye, this time from 12 yards out, put West Chester up 26-21 with 2:25 to play. However Clarion went 68 yards in 71 seconds for the game-winning score and the PSCAC crown.

But the 1966 season was not over as West Chester was invited to Orlando, FL to play in the Tangerine Bowl, now known as the Citrus Bowl. Their opponent would be Morgan State which went undefeated in both 1965 and 1966 and was riding a 17-game winning streak. The Bears won their eight games in 1966 by an average score of 43-3, and five of their opponents failed to score against them. As expected, it was a defensive battle with West Chester outgaining Morgan State 226-206 for the game, but the Bears held only a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter. However, Morgan State got a pick-six with three and a half minutes left to secure the win. The Golden Rams tacked on a Haynie to Wilkinson touchdown with 31 seconds left, but the two-point conversion attempt failed for a final score of 14-6. Morgan State's Willie Lanier, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 20 years later, was named MVP for the game.

West Chester claimed seven (Don Wilkinson, Mutt Hyatt, Bruce Heller, Frank Mellor, Ron Smeltzer, Greg Hilnes, Bert Nye) of the 13 spots on the All-PSAC offense and four (Brian Mulhern, Ray Kurowski, Fred McKonley, Dennis Shank) of the 15 on the defense.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Player News - Gilbert Nominated for Good Works Award

Senior left tackle and team captain Doug Gilbert has been nominated for the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. Besides maintaining a strong academic standing, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group in order to be nominated. Gilbert is one of 84 nominees for the Combined Division award (FCS, Division II and III and NAIA levels) and one of only two nominees from the PSAC. The 12-member Combined Division team will be announced in September as selected by a special voting panel consisting of former Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members.

Gilbert is a two-time first team All-PSAC East selection and after last season was named first team CCA All-Super Region 1, first team All-ECAC, second team Dan Hansen Football Gazette Super Region 1 and second team USA College Football All-American. He was also named a PSAC Scholar-Athlete for the 2015-2016 season and was recently named second team preseason All-Division II by Lindy’s Sports.

American Football Coaches Association - 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Nominees Announced

West Chester Athletic Site - WCU All-American Doug Gilbert Nominated For AFCA Good Works Team

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 1976

The nation's bicentennial year proved a tough one for West Chester football. John Furlow's squad finished 5-4, with the losses coming to East Stroudsburg, New Hampshire, Bucknell and Delaware. The annual game against the Blue Hens came on the final day of the regular season and resulted in hard feelings on both sides of the ball. Delaware accused West Chester of dirty play since three of their players received game-ending injuries. And West Chester claimed that Delaware ran up the score as the Blue Hens executed an onside kickoff leading 35-7 with eight minutes left. Then leading 42-7 with 6:21 remaining in the game, Delaware again attempted an onside kick.

For the season, Bill Blystone rushed for 1,025 yards, including a then school record 254 against Kutztown, and was named first team AFCA All-American. In total, named to the All-PSAC East team were six players from the offense and eight from the defense. Nose guard Dave Sharpless, receiver Joe Senser and Blystone are all now members of the Killinger Football Hall of Fame.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 1986

Head coach Danny Hale entered his third year as head coach of the Golden Rams after back-to-back 7-3 seasons. After opening with an easy 38-0 win at Glassboro State (now Rowan University), it was time for the, what was then, annual pilgrimage to Newark to take on the University of Delaware.

In retrospect, a narrow 33-31 loss to the Division IAA Blue Hens, in front of their 22,000 fans, led by future two-time Pro Bowl MVP quarterback Rich Gannon seems tolerable for the nearby Division II rivals. But when you consider that the Golden Rams had a 31-14 lead with twelve minutes left to play, and the Blue Hens later failed on a fake punt, didn't recover an onside kick, and lost a fumble deep in West Chester territory with under two minutes left, it becomes tougher to accept. But the ultimate knife to the heart was that Delaware scored on a three-yard pitch on the very last play of the game for the victory.

The Golden Rams would recover the very next week with a 44-7 drubbing of Bloomsburg and pick up five more PSAC wins, raising their record to 7-1 and their national ranking to #7 entering a trip to Division IAA Lehigh. Under a steady rain and a deeply muddy field, West Chester trailed 12-7 in the third quarter when Gerald Toney recovered a Lehigh fumbled punt. One play later, the Golden Rams took a 13-12 lead. Unfortunately, the Engineers (the Lehigh nickname at the time) converted their third and fourth field goal of the game to give Lehigh an 18-13 lead. West Chester still had chances, advancing to the Lehigh eight-yard line before they lost a questionable fumble (one official ruled the runner down, another overruled him) and the Lehigh 13-yard line before a sack ended that drive. And the final play of the game was a West Chester reception to the Lehigh 15, but the Golden Rams would suffer their second setback of the season, both to Division IAA teams. It also marked the last time that Lehigh and West Chester faced each other in football.

But there was still work to be done. A trip to Millersville (9-0) would determine who would win the PSAC East and advance to the PSAC Championship. It was a defensive battle, with the Marauders kicking a 43-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter for a 3-0 lead that held up deep into the final period. The Golden Rams had yet to even cross midfield until Mike Burnetta ripped a 66-yard touchdown run with five minutes left to propel West Chester into the PSAC Championship. A week later, the #10 Golden Rams fell to #14 Indiana by a score of 20-7.

The 1986 team was star studded with quarterback Al Niemela, running back Jason Sims, receivers Bill Hess and Jim Sheehan, offensive lineman Ralph Tamm, defensive lineman Mike Testa, and defensive back Gerald Toney, all of whom are members of the Killinger Football Hall of Fame.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Event News - PSAC Football Media Day

The PSAC will hold its annual Football Media Day on Monday, August 8. The schools from the East Division will be hosted by Kutztown University while the West Division schools will gather at Slippery Rock University.

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.