SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. (WDVM) – The Shepherd football team suffered it’s first loss of the season Saturday afternoon, falling to Kutztown 37-29 in front of the Ram’s first home crowd of the season.
The visiting Golden Bears got on the board early, settling for a 37 yard field goal from Dean Krcic after a 5:15 minute drive to open up the game.
The Rams would answer on their next possession when junior quarterback, Tyson Bagent, tossed it to senior wide receiver, Greg Leonard, for a five yard touchdown which gave the Rams the 7-3 lead.
Kutztown then responded with graduate student quarterback, Eric Nickel, firing a 72 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver, Jerome Kapp, with 4:12 remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Kutztown senior defensive back, Nick Palmer, blocked Shepherd’s would-be game-tying field goal attempt, which was picked up by his teammate, Antuan Lloyd who ran it back for an 87 yard score, giving the Golden Bears a 17-7 lead with 12:18 left in the second quarter.
Bagent and senior tight end, Alex Wetzel, would connect for another Rams touchdown from eight yards out for a 17-14 score with 8:40 remaining in the first half.
One more touchdown from the Golden Bears in the second quarter, which came on quarterback sneak from Nickel, gave Kutztown a 24-14 halftime lead.
A ten point lead, quickly became just a three point lead when the Rams came out of the half with a four-play drive, moving the ball 85 yards and scoring a 15 yard touchdown pass from Bagent to junior running back, Ty Hebron, making the score 24-21.
The Rams would keep Kutztown scoreless in the third quarter until 1:07 left when Nickel found a wide open Jake Novak in the back of the end zone from seven yards out, to once again take a 10 point lead with a 31-21 score.
In the fourth quarter, the Golden Bears were on the field at one point for 8:26, working a 15 play drive, that resulted in an 11 yard touchdown run for Kutztown’s Darryl Davis-McNeil.
The Rams took the field after that with 2:54 remaining in the game and scored on a two-yard touchdown pass from Bagent to Jonathan Moss. Bagent would then find Ryan Beach to complete the two point conversion and that would be the final score of the game with Shepherd falling to Kutztown 37-29.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the loss,” said Rams head coach Ernie McCook after the game. “We lost to a good football team [and] we gotta figure out [some stuff]. We’ll come back to work tomorrow and get our team ready to play for next week. We got a long ways to go. A lot of football to play – we just gotta be better.”
Despite the loss it was still and impressive day for junior quarterback, Tyson Bagent who completed 42-of-51 passes for 398 yards and four touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 7 yards for 400+ total offensive yards.
Jonathan Moss lead all receivers with 12 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown, while Ty Hebron was the Rams lead rusher with 50 yards on six carries.
Shepherd racked up 467 yards of total offense – only 14 yards less than Kutztown’s 481. The difference came in the run game where the Golden Bears out-rushed the Rams 231-69 yards.
The Rams defense was lead by senior linebacker Kendall Duckworth who had 10 stops (six solos), and senior defensive back Ponce Deleon who made nine tackles (five solos).
The Rams are back at home next weekend, Saturday, October 2nd when they will host Shippensburg at noon.