Shepherd aims ground attack at vulnerable Lock Haven
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Homestanding Lock Haven University had been shredded for 77 points by Indiana, 63 by East Stroudsburg and 48 by Clarion. Shepherd was aware of the Bald Eagles’ defensive woes, and so the Rams kept mostly to the ground in their 62-28 win on Oct. 3 in western Pennsylvania.
A four-touchdown, 28-point first quarter sent Shepherd on its way toward winning a third consecutive road game.
Many first-game players showed their wares and reached the statistical sheets with touchdowns, fumble recoveries, interceptions and solo tackles.
In winning, Shepherd improved to 3-2 overall and went to 1-1 in the East Division of the newly-joined Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Lowly Lock Haven dipped to 1-4 overall with its only success coming in the season opener against Lincoln (Pa.). The Bald Eagles are 0-2 in the conference’s East Division.
The Rams had 340 rushing yards and passed infrequently with usual starting quarterback Tyson Bagent missing the game. Six different Rams were able to score touchdowns, with both Deonte Glover and Ty Hebron each scoring twice.
Zane Lewis had a 67-yard punt return score and Antonio Fox used his fumble recovery to move six yards for a score in the second half.
Shepherd eased its task by forcing five Lock Haven turnovers (three fumble recoveries and two pass interceptions). The Rams, who had been stung by turnovers in home-field losses to Kutztown and Ohio Dominican, did not commit any turnovers in the night game.
The Rams outscored Lock Haven, 27-7, in the second half where Ronnie Brown and quarterback Christian Etchison scored on runs. Hayden August-Scriven booted two field goals and Hebron closed the scoring onslaught just after the last of Lock Haven’s turnovers.
Several of Shepherd’s first-line defensive players either didn’t play or were used sparingly, in hopes they could be ready for tomorrow’s noon game against resurgent Shippensburg or next week’s home-field game against nationally ranked West Chester, also a noon game at Ram Stadium.
Linebacker Ponce Deleon returned, after healing from injuries that have slowed him down, to lead the Rams with six tackles — the same number as fast-rising Frankie Stevens and Chris Jones. Terrell Lindsey and Daijahn Anthony had the Shepherd interceptions and David Wilson, Fox and Stevens had the fumble recoveries.
Glover (172 yards on only 12 rushing tries) averaged 14.3 yards per carry and Brown ran 14 times for 96 yards. Etchison threw 17 times, completed 10 with no interceptions and had 137 passing yards.
A small crowd of 475 watched in 62-degree temperatures, as the Rams found a number of ways and a number of players to achieve their ever-rising point total.