Defensive minded Rams stifle Clarion, 40-24
CLARION, Pa. — Shepherd had four interceptions against host Clarion University of Pennsylvania and limited the Golden Eagles to just 101 rushing yards, as it brushed past the PSAC rival by scoring 34 straight points against the shocked West Division opponent.
In winning, 40-24, the Rams moved their early-season record to 2-1 overall and have some ammunition to use against highly regarded Kutztown tomorrow in their annual Homecoming game at Ram Stadium at 1 p.m. The Golden Bears are coming in with a 3-0 record and own a one-touchdown win over California (Pa.) as well as wins against Gannon and Assumption.
Trailing, 10-6, Shepherd went on a scoring tear that left it leading 40-10 after Tyson Bagent had taxed the Golden Eagles with five scoring passes and most of his 394 aerial yards. Bagent was not intercepted . . . but the two quarterbacks Clarion tried could not say the same as Shepherd’s Antonio Fox (two interceptions), Donnell Howard and Hassan Marshall stole their passes.
With Chrys Lane (12 tackles) having his third straight dominant game and Marshall (six stops), Corey Shell (six tackles), Michael Blackman-Herbert (five stops), Terrell Lindsey (four tackles), Kyle Smith (four tackles) and Nasheed Bridgeman (four stops from his nose tackle position), Shepherd continually neutralized Clarion’s ground offense.
Bagent’s five touchdown passes went to Deante Glover (two), Dylan Brewer, Devin Phelps and Alex Wetzel. Brewer had nine catches for 164 yards after grabbing 11 Bagent passes for 110 yards the week before when the Rams trimmed Mercyhurst.
Penalties were nearly always in evidence with Shepherd being flagged 16 times for 157 yards and Clarion drawing the flags from the seven officials some 13 times for 149 yards.
The Rams got 10 points from specialist Hayden August-Scriven on two field goals and 4-of-5 extra point tries. Clarion was successful on its lone field goal attempt and all three of its extra point kicks.
Shepherd vs. Kutztown might bear considerable weight in the final East Division standings of the PSAC. The Rams’ victories over both Mercyhurst and Clarion came against West Division teams as did Kutztown’s victories over California and Gannon. Both Shepherd and Kutztown, a NCAA Division II qualifier for the national playoffs in 2018 with a 9-2 regular season mark, are 0-0 in East Division games.
Four interceptions, another red-letter afternoon against an opponent’s ground game and five scores through the air, buoyed Shepherd in its dismantling of Clarion.