Junior quarterback Bobby Cooper completed 16-of-28 passes for 306 yards and three scores, while senior running back Tommy Addison (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard) had 23 carries for 125 yards and a pair of touchdown to lead Shepherd University to a 53-27 win over Shippensburg in football action at Ram Stadium in the season opener for both schools.
Shepherd took as 7-0 lead with 10:22 left in the first quarter Cooper teamed with senior wide receiver Nikkolai Norrell (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) on a nine-yard scoring pass.
The Red Raiders answered back on a 37-yard pass from Zach Zulli to Shaldon Mayer with 2:36 left in the first quarter. Shepherd retook the lead at 14-7 when sophomore running Michael Haynes (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) scored on a one-yard plunge with 12:19 left in the second quarter.
Zulli teamed with J Baskerville on a 59-yard scoring strike with 2:14 left in the half to cut the lead to 14-13. Sophomore defensive lineman Xavier Tyler (Richmond, Va./ Lloyd C. Bird) blocked Drew Newcomer's point after attempt.
Shepherd pulled away in the second half with four straight touchdowns in the third quarter.
Cooper teamed with junior wide receiver Larry Lowe (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point) on a 71-yard scoring strike, Addison scored on a two-yard run, Cooper connected on a 25-yard score to sophomore wide receiver Justin Ford (Lusby, Md./Patuxent), and senior cornerback Elijah Davis (Silver Spring, Md./Wheaton) picked off a Zulli pass and raced 61 yards for a touchdown.
Zulli teamed with Trevor Harman for a pair of touchdowns (36 and 16 yards), while Shepherd got a eight-yard scoring run from Addison and redshirt-freshman quarterback Trae Tinsman (Winchester, Va./James Wood) connected on a 46-yard scoring pass to Ford to complete the scoring.
Zulli completed 17-of-30 passes for 277 yards with four scores and a pair of interceptions. Tinsman connected on 4-of-4 passes for 74 yards and a score in relief for the Rams.
Norrell led all receivers with five catches for 100 yards. Lowe had two receptions for 96 yards, while Ford had four catches for 93 yards. Mike Frenette and Zack Kinney each had four catches for the Red Raiders.
Shepherd amassed 601 yards on total offense in the game with 380 yards coming in the air. Shippensburg had 341 yards of total offense, but managed only 64 yards on the ground.
Junior linebacker Leons Kabongo (Woodbridge, Va./Gar-Field) and senior outside linebacker Chris Patton (New Market, Md./Linganore) each had five tackles to lead the Rams. Jake Metz and Vinnie Ranauto each posted seven stops for the Red Raiders.
Shepherd improves to 1-0, while Shippensburg falls to 0-1. The Rams return to action next Saturday when they travel to St. Joseph's College (Ind.) for a noon contest.