Shepherd scores 37 straight points in beating Urbana
SHEPHERDSTOWN — When Shepherd drove away from Urbana (Ohio) with a 44-21 conference win last Saturday, the Rams left the outpost with a spotless record against the Blue Knights. Six games against the Mountain East Conference foe. Six wins after seeing Urbana for the last time before joining the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in 2019.
The Rams host long-time rival West Virginia Wesleyan this week in another game that will close out what was once a keen rivalry, but has been literally owned by Shepherd of late.
In dispatching Urbana, the Rams had a mostly balanced offense that saw freshman running back Antwan Squire reward the coaching staff for giving him his most extensive playing time, by getting 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns with his 23 carries. Squire delivered his yardage and touchdowns after the Rams had tried Tyson Hebron, Zyan Sturdivant and Deonte Glover before him. Squire’s predecessors had suffered injuries.
Shepherd’s total offense figure was 422 yards with Squire, accounting for much of the 206 rushing yards, and Tyson Bagent, completing 20-of-30 passes (two interceptions, one TD throw) for 216 air yards.
After Urbana scored with its first possession, the Rams scored with their first two possessions to move in front. Drives of 74 yards (in 10 plays) and 80 yards (in eight plays) had Shepherd on top, 14-7.
Just before the first half ended, Shepherd converted a third-and-14 problem into a first down, had Hebron run for 18 yards and scored with only 10 seconds remaining on Bagent’s eight-yard throw to Hebron. It was 20-7 at the break.
A 33-yard field goal by Hayden August-Scriven culminated Shepherd’s first drive of the third period.
After Zion Johnson’s fumble recovery at the Urbana Seven, Squire ran four yards for a 30-7 lead.
Johnson forced a fumble that defensive end Tatah Ndeh scooped up and ran 21 yards for a 37-7 Shepherd lead.
Urbana counted the next two scores, after blocking a Shepherd punt and picking up its own fumble that was turned into points.
Squire had the last word.
He went 64 yards for a score with only 4:22 remaining on the clock.
With its 5-2 record, Shepherd can see in the lessening distance its last days in the MEC, and final weeks of facing many long-time rivals from the state of West Virginia. Only the Bobcats, Charleston and Virginia-Wise are left to play.
Next season, the Rams will be the new kid on the block in a 16-school conference that has eight teams in the East Division and eight teams in the West Division. Shepherd will be grouped with West Chester, Kutztown, Bloomsburg, Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Millersville and Lock Haven in the East Division.