[cleeng_content id="983724924" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]The newest group of inductees into the Shepherd Athletic Hall of Fame has four in number.
Shepherd’s undefeated football team seeks its seventh win on Saturday at noon when it faces offensive-minded Notre Dame (Ohio) at Ram Stadium.
Hall of Fame ceremonies are set for Friday evening at the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown. This year’s selections will also be recognized at the Shepherd vs. Notre Dame football game on Saturday.
Notre Dame comes in with a 3-3 overall record and two of the nation’s most productive offensive players in pitching quarterback Ray Ross and running back Pedro Powell.
Even in last week’s 48-21 loss to Lake Erie (Ohio), Ross went 27-for-58 for 319 yards through the air. Ross threw for two scores, but was also intercepted twice. Powell rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth straight game, getting 102 yards on 19 carries.
Ross has completed 167-of-287 passes for 1,719 yards and had 16 TD passes in only six games. He is averaging 286 passing yards a game.
In his six games, Powell has already rushed for 909 yards on 170 carries and gets 151 ground yards per game.
In last week’s loss to Lake Erie, a team with a 2-3 overall record, Notre Dame had 489 yards of total offense but surrendered 687 yards of offense to Lake Erie in losing. The Falcons have lost all three of their games away from the team’s South Euclid home. South Euclid is a suburb of Cleveland.
Shepherd comes into its seventh game with a national ranking to protect as well as sole posession of first place in the Mountain East Conference. Urbana, Concord and West Liberty all have just one league loss.
In recent wins over Charleston and UVa.-Wise, the Rams have safely covered the team’s offensive shortcomings with the defense and special team’s punt returns.
Without much activity from its offense, Shepherd has scored points with interception returns, C.J. Harris punt returns and Ryan Earls’ field goals.
None of the six teams the Rams have beaten could show any progress when trying to run against the Shepherd defense. Opponents are averaging only 27 yards rushing per game and 10.7 points per game against the protective Shepherd defense.
Scanning the overall records of all the teams in the four conferences comprising NCAA Division II’s Super Region One, only Bloomsburg, West Chester and Shepherd are undefeated.
Notre Dame’s Powell presents the Shepherd defense with the best runner it has seen to date. Ross is an able quarterback.
With future road games at Glenville and Concord, the Rams need to find some useful offense and start to get away from so many penalties. Even while staying unbeaten, Shepherd is averaging 10.2 penalties and 90 yards against it per game.
The Hall of Fame inducts Cassie Murray (basketball), Rob Bradford (football), Joel Gordon (football) and Mike Doran (former men’s soccer coach) on Friday night.
Saturday’s football game vs. Notre Dame begins at noon.
And Shepherd’s unbeaten record (and its defense) will be on display.