Rams ‘pass through’ Bobcats, notching 58-35 conference win
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherd made its last game against West Virginia Wesleyan a record-setting one. In defeating the visiting Bobcats, 58-35, the Rams had freshman quarterback Tyson Bagent throw seven touchdown passes, erasing the record of five scoring throws in a game by four others.
On a dank day when the meek drizzle had quit just before kickoff, the Rams stepped up their record to 6-2, and had games left with Charleston and Virginia-Wise. The reeling Bobcats were left with a 1-8 record.
There was no Halloween theme to the chilly afternoon, but some little-seen happenings found their way into the high-scoring game.
Because of their season-long problems with inaccurate place kicking, the Rams tried punter Ruan Venter after its last five touchdowns. Venter used his drop kicking skills to register three extra points. He had five attempts, using a specialized skill that hadn’t been seen at a Shepherd game in at least 60 years.
The Rams converted only four times, following their nine touchdowns.
Bagent was able to complete 29 of his 37 passes for 306 yards, with three of his scoring throws going to tight end DJ Cornish.
Before the Bobcats’ Jujuan Linzy returned a kickoff 99 yards for points, Shepherd had taken a 19-0 lead as Bagent’s already had two touchdown passes. Cornish and Greg Leonard had second-quarter receptions for more points, as Shepherd trooped off at the half with a 32-7 lead.
The back-and-forth second half saw Bagent and the Shepherd offense continue to baffle the Bobcats, and running back Antwan Squire join the scoring party with his quick bursts through nifty holes provided by his offensive line.
Shepherd scored an additional 26 second-half points and West Virginia Wesleyan added 28 points to its catch-up total.
Squire had consecutive runs of 38 and 37 yards, as he ran 15 times for a meaningful 174 yards.
With a total offense of 517 yards, the Rams were beating the Bobcats for the seventh straight time, and 14 of the last 15 times the teams have met.
Although the Bobcats had five scores, the Shepherd defense claimed five turnovers in its getting its most “take aways” in any game this season.
Shepherd wide receiver Wanya Allen had 10 catches and one for a score, as he improved his career total to 20 TD catches.
A passing record, drop kicks, tons of total offense and clinching a winning season were all part of Shepherd’s somewhat unusual day of Mountain East Conference football.