CHARLESTON - Shepherd turned very defensive Saturday during its 28-13 win over the University of Charleston in West Virginia Conference play.
Shepherd limited the Golden Eagles' high-powered rushing attack to just 82 yards, and the Rams forced five turnovers during the win that improved their record to 5-0.
Meanwhile, running back Tommy Addison rushed 16 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns to lead Shepherd on offense. The Rams scored three touchdowns in the second half after holding a slim 7-6 lead at intermission.
The Rams took a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard plunge by running back Nate Hoyte with 4:45 left in the first quarter. Kicker Eric Dobratz added the extra point. The score was set up by a fumble recovery by outside linebacker Chris Patton at the Charleston 31-yard line.
Charleston cut the lead to 7-3 when Wes Sherrill connected on a 35-yard field goal with 12:35 left in the second quarter.
Sherrill added a 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 7-6.
Shepherd increased its lead to 14-6 when Addison bounced outside and raced 44 yards for a touchdown with 10:46 left in the third quarter.
Quarterback Kevin Clancy teamed with senior tight end Dominique Jones, who broke several tackles and outraced the Charleston defenders for an 81-yard scoring play with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. It was the sixth-longest pass play in Shepherd history.
That pass play came after an interception deep in Shepherd territory.
Charleston answered when Maurice Leak teamed with Justin Nelson on a 60-yard scoring pass with 12:25 left in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 21-13. Nelson won a jump ball against a Shepherd defender to come down with the pass.
Addison bounced off a Charleston defender, regained his balance and scampered 15 yards for a touchdown with 2:54 remaining to give the Rams a 28-13 lead.
Chris Patton picked off a Leak pass off a breakup by linebacker A.J. Parrish with 1:19 left in the game and returned it to the Shepherd 19-yard line to seal the win for the Rams.
Clancy completed 9 of 17 passes for 141 yards, while Leak was 19 of 31 for 276 yards for Charleston.
Wide receiver Robert Byrd had three catches for 22 yards to lead the Ram receiving corps. Andre Higgins had five receptions for 62 yards to pace Charleston.
Hoyte added 13 carries for 53 yards for Shepherd. Lamonte Lattimore had seven carries for 46 yards for Charleston.
Parrish led the Ram defense with a game-high 12 tackles. Linebacker Brian Taylor added 11 stops, while free safety Corey Washington had 10 tackles. Aaron Dunlap had 11 tackles to lead Charleston.
Shepherd improved to 5-0, 3-0 in WVC play, while Charleston fellto 2-3, 1-2.
The Rams return to action next Saturday when they host Concord for a noon contest.