Rams begin conference play beating Griffins

GREENSBURG, Pa.—This will be Shepherd’s last season in the WVIAC. The conference is in its last year after nine of its schools joined the Mountain East Conference for 2013 and others left for two other leagues.

The Rams opened their 2012, eight-game WVIAC football schedule on Saturday at Seton Hill with a 42-6 win before an announced crowd at Offutt Field of 1,215.

Four different Shepherd players had scored by the time the Rams moved out to a 28-0 lead in the second period.

Larry Lowe’s grab of a 12-yard scoring throw from Bobby Copper started the Shepherd scoring. Before the first quarter had closed, Billy Brown took a 17-yard touchdown pass from Cooper to extend the Rams’ lead to 14-0.

Early in the second period, Dom Tolson had a 42-yard fumble return-touchdown. Minutes later, John Frick grabbed Cooper’s third scoring pass. Frick’s catch was for 12 yards and a 28-0 Shepherd lead.

The only Seton Hill points came when Lance Williams caught a 29-yard TD pass from quarterback Ryan Morris.

In the third quarter, Jihad Rasheed scored on a five-yard burst and Lowe counted his second touchdown (and Cooper’s fourth TD pass) on a 14-yard scoring play.

There was no scoring in the fourth quarter.

Shepherd was 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the WVIAC. Seton Hill was 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

All the statistics were dominated by Shepherd.

The Rams had 27 first downs to Seton Hill’s 11. Shepherd’s total offense was 461 yards while the Griffins had only 193 yards. Seton Hill had two turnovers and Shepherd had one.

Both teams were penalized over and over. The Rams were guilty of 13 penalties for 101 yards and the Griffins were flagged 11 times for 90 yards.

Cooper completed 24-of-28 passes for 286 yards and the four touchdowns. He suffered an interception. Seton Hill quarterback Morris completed 29-of-46 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted by Xavier Tyler.

Dominique Dixon had six tackles and Bryan Blue had five for the Rams, who recorded eight tackles for lost Seton Hill yardage. Joe Pearson and Mike Franklin had the Shepherd sacks. Shepherd quarterbacks were sacked once.

Josh Falatovich had 11 tackles for the Griffins. Darius Turner intercepted Cooper.

Shepherd travels to Laidley Field to face Charleston on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Golden Eagles are off to a 3-0 start to the season with wins over Shaw (NC), St. Joseph’s (Indiana), and Concord (the defending WVIAC champion from 2011).

The last chapter of the lengthy WVIAC historical novel continues for the Rams, whose final seven games this season are against conference rivals.

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