High-scoring Rams race past Seton Hill
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Stung by an early turnover that helped give visiting Seton Hill a quick lead, Shepherd cast off the costly mistake and methodically moved to an 18-point lead by halftime before notching four scores in the last half of its dominating 56-24 win over conference rival Seton Hill.
A ready-to-cheer crowd of over 5,000 came to the Rams’ final home game of the 2019 season . . . and was able to stay warm with the numerous offensive, defensive and special teams moments Shepherd provided.
Needing a regular-season closing victory to qualify for the NCAA Division II Super Region One playoffs, the Rams did not disappoint.
Seton Hill came to Ram Stadium with only two wins, but had a number of close losses in competitive conference games. Shepherd had not lost since Week 4 of the season when it fell to then-unbeaten Kutztown.
Six consecutive wins had been reeled off by the Rams, who were averaging about 40 points per game.
The Senior Day/Family Day atmosphere began with a chill in the air but finished with the Rams toasting their 19 seniors with 56 points and some playing time for all healthy, last-year players.
Finishing the regular season portion of the schedule with a 9-2 record, the Rams gouged out nearly 500 yards in total offense and got one score on Deonte Glover’s 98-yard kickoff return. The Griffins closed their year with a 2-8 record and could never dampen Shepherd’s offensive fires.
Shepherd’s intact offensive line usually protected quarterback Tyson Bagent in good order, allowing the sophomore quarterback to find favorite targets Dylan Brewer and Devin Phelps for repeated receptions and generous yardage, three touchdown throws and no interceptions.
Glover, who had five touchdowns in a recent romp against East Stroudsburg, scored four times and topped the 1,100-yard mark in rushing yards for the year.
Brewer’s afternoon of success left him with over 1,000 receiving yards for the 11-game season.
When Rodney Dorsey grabbed a nine-yard TD pass from Bagent with only 39 seconds left in the opening half, Shepherd could take a 28-10 lead to the Kenneth Boone Field House at halftime.
Two second-half scores from both Brewer and Glover only added to Shepherd’s lengthy half-time lead.
Shepherd flooded the field with reserves for much of the fourth quarter.
With the playoff-clinching win, the Rams now travel to western Pennsylvania to face Indiana, a PSAC team that completed a 9-1 regular-season record and lost only to unbeaten Slippery Rock.
Shepherd defenders Chrys Lane, Ponce Deleon and Kyle Smith will need complimentary efforts from Frankie Stevens and the secondary to advance the Rams to a second-round date in western Pennsylvania against top-seeded Slippery Rock.