SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. (WDVM) – The Shepherd Rams have the No. 1 offense in all of Division II College Football according to stats provided by the NCAA.
Lead by junior quarterback, Tyson Bagent, who through week 8 leads Division II in passing yards (2,666) and passing touchdowns (31), the Rams have scored 371 points and are averaging 46.4 points per game.
“I think [it’s] just the coaches doing a good job of recruiting all of these amazing players and some that kind of flew under the radar, you know, me, so to speak,” said Bagent. “Guys like Ryan Beach, who, because of their height, you know, people kind of passed them by, and being able to bring it all together – it’s just a huge testament to our coaching staff.”
Ryan Beach, at just 5 foot 6 and 160 pounds, is the Rams top receiver. He is currently ranked 5th in the PSAC in receiving yards (617), averaging 77.1 yards per game, but is second in the conference in receiving touchdowns with nine of them this season as a redshirt freshman.
“I couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Beach. “Its pretty easy when Tyson is throwing me the football and I got receivers like we have next to me, so it just opens it up for everybody.”
“He just totally opens up the offense with how fast he is,” said Bagent of Beach. “You know you look at him and you wouldn’t think that he’s the fastest dude on the team but, you know, he is and a lot of the time he’s the fastest dude on teams that we play.”
On the ground, the Rams are lead by sophomore running back, Ronnie Brown, who currently ranks 6th in the PSAC in rushing yards (571) and has five touchdowns this season.
“Shepherd was his only option and you know, when you watch him play on the field – that’s crazy to think that,” said Bagent of Brown. “He’s so fast, so dynamic with the ball in his hands and he also opens up the playbook with him being able to catch footballs out of the backfield. So just like Ryan Beach, him with how he’s been playing this year has totally transformed this offense.”
“[I’m] just playing my role,” Brown humbly explained. “You know, I’m nothing spectacular, I’m just doing my job, you know?”
Some other notable offensive playmakers for the Rams (and there are many) include graduate student running back, Chantz Swartz, who has six rushing touchdowns this season, and senior wide receiver Josh Gontarek, who averaging 72 yards receiving per game and has caught three touchdowns.
“[It takes] everybody,” said Beach. “When we can’t pass, the running backs are running through. When we can’t run, we’re passing. It’s just a good mixture of everybody doing their job and everybody doing what we’re supposed to [be doing] and scoring.”
The Rams are 7-1 this season with three more games left to play in the regular season. They are away this weekend at Bloomsburg and then will return home for the last two games against East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock.
“I mean we would have loved to been 8-0, but we’re going to win the rest of the games and worry about playoffs.”