Records shattered as Shepherd scores 70 in league win
It was a warm Indian Summer day in Institute.
Undefeated Shepherd was being hosted by conference opponent West Virginia State.
And right from the beginning the Rams had scoring on their collective minds.
When the 78-degree afternoon’s record-setting pyrotechnics were completed the Rams had measured the Yellow Jackets, 70-24, to reach this weekend’s Homecoming events with a 6-0 record and still ranked third in the nation.
Individual and team records flew like leaves into the nearby Kanawha River.
The 70 points were the most ever by any Shepherd team dating back almost 100 years. The staggering 804 yards of total offense also had never been amassed in Shepherd football annals.
There were 10 point-after-touchdown kicks . . . 11 kickoffs . . . and 498 passing yards from quarterbacks Connor Jessop and Nic Hammer — all records.
Individually, Jessop had 480 passing yards himself and receiver C.J. Davis finished with 251 reception yards for two more records.
The Rams were tagged for 19 penalties for 206 yards, a record with negative connotations. The Yellow Jackets, now 1-6, were penalized 11 times for 96 yards.
There were seven Rams who reached the West Virginia State end zones with Davis, Jessop and Brown each doing it twice.
Davis had long scoring catches of 43 and 81 yards on throws from Jessop. Brown’s touchdown receptions were 44 and 11 yards. And Jessop ran for scores of 49 and one yard.
Lue Sokova, Deonte Glover, Patrick Griffin and Hammer had the other scores for the Rams.
Jessop completed 22-of-28 throws with Hammer going 2-for-2. Almost lost in the confetti-like records were Jessop’s five touchdown passes.
Davis had nine catches and Brown’s seven grabs went for 120 yards.
West Virginia State scored on a long, kickoff return and could muster but 189 yards of total offense as James Gupton (12 tackles) and Myles Humphrey (seven stops and two sacks) paced the Shepherd defense. James King also had two of Shepherd’s six sacks against Yellow Jacket quarterbacks.
The Shepherd lead by halftime was 49-17.
This week’s Homecoming opponent is Concord, a team that kept Shepherd out of the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2014 with an overtime defeat of the Rams. The Mountain Lions are 2-5 this season.
Kanawha County had been good to the Rams this season as they beat both Charleston and the Yellow Jackets in conference games.
And the record-setting afternoon in Institute (witnessed by 300 uncrowded people) had so many new team and individual standards being set they might still be whirling around the gold-domed state capital building a few miles from aged Lakin Field.