[cleeng_content id="701764539" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]SHEPHERDSTOWN — For a half of Saturday’s Homecoming game, the Shepherd offense couldn’t solve what Charleston was doing. But after the Golden Eagles took a two-point lead early in the second half, the Rams rode safely home with three ground-grinding scores provided by their offensive line, Allen Cross and Jabre Lolley.
It was nationally ranked Shepherd’s fifth straight win. Against no losses. The 28-9 victory had as many or more defensive heros as well as a special teams’ touchdown scored on a punt return.
In this case, the statistics were for the winners.
Cross ran 25 times for 156 yards and one score. Lolley had 17 carries for 104 yards and two scores.
Shepherd’s other score was its only first-half points when it had a precarious 7-3 lead. C.J. Davis weaved his way through Charleston’s punt coverage for 64 yards before he fumbled at the one. He grabbed the loose football on one bounce and was in the end zone for six points.
After Charleston marched to a 9-7 lead with its first possession of the last half, Shepherd took complete control of the sultry afternoon. Mike Franklin blocked the Golden Eagle try for point, keeping the fresh Charleston lead at two points.
Shepherd’s offensive line took it from there.
A 12-play, 65-yard drive was capped by a Lolley one-yard run.
An 11-yard Charleston punt gave the Rams prosperous field position at the Golden Eagle 46. Cross ran for 20 yards. Four plays later he scored from the five, and Shepherd had wrestled control of the line of scrimmage from Charleston.
On its third possession since falling behind, Shepherd started a drive from the 20 after Dontrewell Kelley made an acrobatic interception in its end zone.
Lolley had runs of 15 and 19 yards and the Rams clicked off four first downs in bullishly moving the necessary 80 yards in only eight plays to take a 28-9 lead when Lolley pushed across from the four.
After it fell back by two points, Shepherd’s defense allowed only five first downs to Charleston’s last three possessions.
Besides Kelley’s end zone interception, the Rams had seven tackles for lost yardage and four sacks. Dominique Dixon and DeOntre Johnson each had eight stops with Corey Washington and Octavius Thomas each being credited with seven tackles.
Homecoming at Shepherd had seen nothing but sun and perfect weather for any outdoor alumni event.
The Rams have tied their 5-0 record to the hits of their defense and the blocking of their offensive line. And, so far, that has been enough.[/cleeng_content]