Rams play ‘keep away’ in beating West Virginia State
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Down field came the Rams. West Virginia State couldn’t get the football away from Shepherd’s offense.
Shepherd’s immense “time of possession” stranglehold on the ball, was a major reason the Rams stung the Yellow Jackets, 27-7, last Saturday in Institute. The Mountain East Conference win was no aberration, because the Rams were winning for the 38th straight time against the Yellow Jackets.
Shepherd possessed the ball for fully 34:27 and West Virginia State had it for only 25:33. The Rams ran off 72 plays while the Yellow Jackets had only 50 snaps in losing again to the improving Rams.
It was already 20-0 by halftime at grassy Lakin Field. Wanya Allen and Deonte Glover had delivered Shepherd touchdowns, and kicker Hayden August-Scriven had successful field goals of 20 and 32 yards. Like the week before in beating Glenville, the Rams had blanked their conference opponent through the first half.
The loss was by far the most dramatic the Yellow Jackets have suffered after only a 4-point loss at unbeaten Notre Dame and a 2-point loss at unbeaten Charleston.
The conference-leading-yardage-Rams amassed 528 yards of total offense with West Virginia State, getting 332 yards. Shepherd freshman Tyson Bagent completed 23 of his 40 passes for 318 yards, a formidable figure for his lowest production of the three-game season. Fellow freshman Zyan Sturdivant rushed for 110 yards of Shepherd’s 210-yard ground total.
Limiting the Yellow Jackets to just 88 ground yards, the Rams had first-year starter Chrys Lane lead them in tackles for the third straight game with his 10 stops. Ponce DeLeon, another first-year starter, was credited with nine stops, and had Shepherd’s only pass interception. The Rams registered three sacks for the first time this season.
Atop the conference in fewest penalties per game, Shepherd was flagged for only 66 yards on eight infractions.
Zach Pate’s 46-yard scoring catch and Moises Valcarcel’s whopping 17 tackles were Yellow Jacket statistics of note.
The Rams put their 2-1 record on view again on Saturday in the annual Homecoming game at noon, this time versus Concord.