The Times West Virginian

Sports

September 15, 2013

Rams capitalize on FSU miscues for 27-7 win

FAIRMONT — The MO of Shepherd University’s football team hasn’t changed in 27 years under veteran coach Monte Cater.

The nationally ranked Rams are masters of taking advantage of opponents’ mistakes and making them pay for them.

Saturday afternoon at Duvall-Rosier Field, 17th-ranked Shepherd turned three Fairmont State turnovers into 20 unanswered points en route to a 27-7 victory over the Falcons in the first-ever Mountain East Conference football game for both schools.

“You and I both know the 27-7 score really wasn’t indicative of the game itself,” said Cater, whose Rams improved to 2-0 overall and to 1-0 in the MEC. “They made some mistakes, and we were able to take advantage of those and capitalize on them. Our defense, I think, played well. They gave up some yardage, but didn’t give up a score.

“Offensively, we’re going to look at it and say we didn’t play very well, but I think Fairmont State’s defense did play well. They took some chances, put a lot of people up on the line of scrimmage and played man-to-man and we couldn’t make them pay. It was an ugly win for us, but again give Fairmont credit for making it that way.”

First-year FSU head coach Jason Woodman was pleased with his team’s effort Saturday, but disappointed with the miscues which aided the Rams in the win.

“That’s Monte’s game,” said Woodman. “They put you in situations you don’t want to be in, and if you’re not patient and don’t play the waiting game, they’ll get you every time. Unfortunately for us, they were there and our turnovers turned into points for them, and that’s what mainly led to the score being what it was today.”

Ironically it was Shepherd that made the first big miscue of the day, and it was Fairmont’s defense which took advantage of it.

Midway through the second quarter in a scoreless game, FSU freshman cornerback Jacob Jean-Charles picked off a Trae Tinsman pass and returned it 35 yards to the Shepherd three-yard line where he was hit from behind and fumbled the ball into the end zone. Luckily for the Falcons, true freshman defensive end T.C. Chestnut was following the play and alertly fell on the football in the end zone for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead with 9:32 left in the half.

“Our defense was set up and playing cover two and I saw the receiver jump inside, so I jumped in front of him, saw the quarterback throw it and picked it off,” said Jean-Charles. “I felt like I could get to the corner of the end zone for a touchdown and then I got hit from behind and fumbled it. I thought, ‘Oh man, I’m going to give the ball back to Shepherd,’ but luckily my teammates were there for the recovery.”

Chestnut says he was trailing the play and looking to make a block when he saw the football come free and land in the end zone. He says he was in the right place at the right time.

“Coach always stresses to us to get to the ball, and when Jacob made that interception I was trying to get up in there and block, and when he fumbled I picked it up and had a touchdown,” said Chesnut. “I wasn’t sure they were going to give it to me or not. I thought they might spot it at the one, but they gave it to me. It felt good for us to get the 7-0 lead, but I knew we still had a lot of game left to be played.”

Shepherd didn’t waste much time knotting the score at seven. Two possessions later, the Rams tied the contest when Jabre Lolley scampered in from three yards out to cap an 11-play, 51-yard scoring march with just 2:41 left in the half.

On Fairmont’s ensuing possession, the Falcons made their first costly mistake of the game, and Shepherd turned it into six points and a 13-7 halftime lead. After getting a first down at its own 32, Fairmont was penalized for a personal foul which took the football back to the 17. On the next play, senior quarterback C.J. Hopson, who was alternating with true freshman signal caller Cooper Hibbs, attempted to scramble out of the pocket and fumbled the ball, which Shepherd’s Mike Franklin fell on at the FSU 12 with 1:03 left in the half.

Three plays later Tinsman found tight end Anthony Weisenmiller wide open in the back of the end zone on a one-yard TD pass to give Shepherd the lead for good.

“I’ll take the blame for that,” said Woodman. “I was trying to get the field position changed and maybe get a field goal before the half. If I had it to do over, I might have done things differently.”

Late in the third quarter Rams’ outside linebacker Levi Barber, who enjoyed a productive day in the victory, picked off a Hibbs’ pass to put Shepherd in business at the FSU 32.

Eight plays later, Allen Cross rumbled in from one yard out to give the Rams a 20-7 on the first play of the final quarter. Shepherd converted on a big fourth-and-eight play to keep the drive alive and take the two-touchdown lead.

FSU had two golden opportunities in the game's final 10 minutes to cut into Shepherd's lead but couldn't take advantage of them. First, the Falcons had a first down at the Rams’ 11 and were turned away on downs with 9:04 left to play. Later, after getting a first-and-goal at the four on its next drive, Hibbs fumbled and Barber scooped up the loose football and outraced everyone 89 yards to the end zone for Shepherd's final TD with just 1:01 left to play.

“We had a couple of opportunities there late and weren't able to capitalize on them,” said Woodman. “That's frustrating, but they're very, very good on defense with the things they do. Their front four is the best front four I've seen in a long, long time. You get down in the red zone against them and things get tight and it's easy to make a mistake and we did that today. The turnovers killed us.”

Indeed they did. Fairmont State actually outgained the Rams 251-171 and held a 14-11 advantage in first downs. FSU’s defense also limited Shepherd to a mere 23 passing yards. Both teams suffered three turnovers in the game, but the difference was Shepherd turned all three of Fairmont’s turnovers into touchdowns, while the Falcons were only able to capitalize on one of the Rams’ turnovers.

FSU will attempt to bounce back Thursday evening when it visits rival Glenville State for a 7 p.m. conference game at Morris Stadium. Shepherd, on the other hand, will be back in action Saturday when it hosts Urbana at noon.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dungy0725 (1).jpg Rice, Dungy sideshows stain NFL

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.
    So, as training camp opens around the country, how odd is it to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s 32-team NFL empire battling bad headlines and stinging criticism from all quarters?
    Anyone want to talk to the new quarterback for his early assessment of playing with the best and biggest players in the land? That would be business as usual. Nothing has been routine about the early days of camp this season.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.
    Sure, you may get some Andrew McCutchens or some Derek Jeters as replies. But if you want to find out the real answer, just look into the dugout.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Return to Mountain State exciting for new sports writer

    When I packed my belongings out of my Morgantown apartment in May, fresh with a journalism degree from West Virginia University, I thought I had ended a chapter of my life and closed the book on my experience inside the great Mountain State forever.
    It wasn’t until I received a phone call back in my hometown of Canton, Ohio, from the Times West Virginian that the idea of a return to the area became a possibility. The opportunity to begin my professional career in an area that I’ve become comfortable with for the past several years was too good to pass by.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Photos
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings