GLENVILLE — After being stung by a blocked punt touchdown scored by Glenville’s Ben Watts, unbeaten Shepherd scored the game’s next 31 points and stayed on the narrow path that had the Rams showing an 8-0 record, still alone in first place in the Mountain East Conference and ranked in the Top 10 in Division II’s national ratings with what was finalized as 45-19 win over the homestanding Pioneers.
With only two regular season games remaining — on Saturday in the home finale against West Virginia State and then in Athens against twice-beaten Concord — the Rams are lodged at No. 2 in the Super Region One ratings that provide the six teams for the NCAA Division II playoffs that begin on Nov. 23.
Shepherd’s points came from various sources and nearly all its team parts.
Ryan Earls booted a 23-yard field goal to begin the run of 31 straight Shepherd points.
Jabre Lolley scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns.
Corey Washington returned an interception 40 yards that left the Rams with a 17-7 lead at the half.
Justin Ford was behind the Pioneer secondary when he completed a 61-yard pass/run score with his reception of a Jeff Ziemba pass.
Immediately after Glenville moved within 18 points of the generous Shepherd lead, return specialist C.J. Davis fielded the ensuing kickoff and got through the first line of the Pioneer coverage team and rolled down the sideline in front of the Shepherd bench before ending his 90-yard romp in the Glenville end zone.
Shepherd led, 38-13, with half the third quarter remaining.
There was no further scoring until midway through the fourth quarter when Glenville whipped through a quick-strike, three-play 69-yard march to make the Ram lead, 38-19.
An impressive 94 yard Shepherd drive in nine running plays that moved 5:28 off the clock finalized the scoring. Jahid Rasheed scored on a 17-yard run with 1:53 to play.
Shepherd rushed for 230 yards with Lolley accounting for 87 yards and Allen Cross another 99 yards. Ziemba completed 15-of-24 throws for 180 yards. He did not suffer an interception.
Glenville became the first team all season to rush for over 100 yards against the Rams. Rahmann Lee had 148 yards on 22 carries, but the Pioneer ground total was only 137 yards because the Rams sacked Sean Steele four times. Steele was only 10-for-23 with his passes and Washington’s interception-touchdown hurt him.
Davis had 169 return yards. Dominique Dixon was credited with 8.5 tackles, including two for lost yardage. De’Ontre Johnson recovered a fumble and Dixon and Washington forced fumbles. Shepherd had seven plays where it stopped Pioneer runners for lost yardage.
The game was littered with penalties. Shepherd was guilty of no fewer than 16 penalties for a whopping 186 yards. Glenville was flagged 12 times for another 119 yards.
Glenville had the game’s first points. Shepherd had the next 31 points.
And the Rams went to 7-0 in their conference. And Glenville was 4-5 overall after losing for the first time all season at Ike and Sue Morris Stadium.