Shepherd Football Picks Up 4th Straight Win; Defeats West Chester on Homecoming Weekend


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) – The Shepherd Rams improved to 7-1 on Saturday after defeating West Chester 42-38.

It was the Rams’ fourth straight win – a bounce back that has primarily been fueled by a high powered offense, that over the past four weeks, has outscored opponents 214-99.

“You know I’ve been talking about [how] this football team has a tremendous amount of grit all year long,” said Rams head coach Ernie McCook after the game. “These guys come every day – they work their butts off, they prepare, they want to be great, they want to be successful and I think it shows when we play.”

Shepherd jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with touchdowns from junior running back Ty Hebron and a keeper from junior quarterback Tyson Bagent from two yards out.

West Chester would respond with under four minutes left to play in the first quarter with an 18 yard touchdown pass from Shane Dooley to J. McKenzie.

Shepherd started the second quarter on a four play drive with Hebron running the ball 84 yards up the field for a touchdown that put the Rams up 21-7.

West Chester would score two more times before the half on a 57 yard touchdown pass from Dooley to Dan Neuhaus, and then on a 19 yard field goal with the Shepherd leading 21-17 at the halftime.

The Golden Rams carried their momentum into the second half scoring on their opening drive – a 35 yard touchdown pass from Dooley to Seth Degree to give the Golden Rams a 24-21 lead.

It only took Shepherd a minute and 11 seconds to march back up the field and score with Bagent hitting Ryan Beach from three yards out to put the Rams back on top 28-24, with the game becoming somewhat of a shootout at this point with the following scoring drives as follows:

West Chester’s Rasheem James catches 14 yard touchdown pass – Golden Rams regain lead (31-28) with 8:14 remaining in the third quarter.

Shepherd only needed two plays and 54 seconds to respond when Bagent hit Ronnie Brown up the seam and took it 42 yards to the house to put the Rams back on top 35-31.

West Chester ate up most of what was left of the clock in the third quarter, with an almost five minute scoring drive – another Dooley/Degree connection – that gave the Golden Rams the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Graduate student wide receiver Josh Gontarek caught the game winning touchdown pass with 12:47 left in the game, a 42-38 score that was threatened with one minute remaining when the Golden Rams were able to get inside the 30 yard line, but the rams defense held, forcing a turnover on downs allowing Bagent to end the game on one knee.

“I thought that was a great win [with] being able to pull through in the last quarter,” said Bagent. “I think it’s closer than we wanted it – the defense helped us out at the end but I also think the offense could have helped the defense out at a couple of those drives during the game.”

Bagent completed 19-of-27 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. Dooley, 20-of-30 completions for 276 yards and five touchdowns.

Hebron carried the load for the Rams on Saturday with 11 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns while Ryan Beach lead the receiving with five catches for 58 yards and one score.

“It shows how good this team can be,” said Bagent. “I think it’s a great win with going forward at the end of the season.”

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