By Matt Leon
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — The streaking West Chester Golden Rams will take to the road for a second straight week on Saturday as they visit California (PA) in a PSAC crossover game.
Since losing at Delaware in their opener, West Chester has rolled off three straight wins. The latest was a 45-24 victory at Kutztown this past weekend.
Quarterback Mike Mattei threw a pair of touchdowns in that one as he continued his strong play. Mattei took over under center in the opener when Sean McCartney was injured and all he has done since is throw 11 touchdowns and just one interception.
Golden Rams head coach Bill Zwaan breaks down what has allowed Mattei to breakthrough here in 2012.
“He’s a mature senior, he is in his fifth year,” Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “So he has played a lot of football for us. But I think right now, he had an arm injury a couple years ago and it took him awhile to come back from that. But he really looks like his arm strength is back almost to 100%. So that piece has really helped him, because now he can put the ball into the windows that he was struggling to get it into before. And now, because he is doing that, he is really starting to throw the ball with confidence. He knows where those guys are going to come open, he’s putting the ball right on the money. I think, more than anything else, he has confidence now in his arm.”
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The Golden Rams will really be tested in this one. The Vulcans are ranked sixth in the country in Division II and Zwaan says they have a great aerial attack.
“They throw the ball well. They can run the ball, but they are mainly a throwing team. They’ve got two legitimate All-American wide receivers and their quarterback (senior Peter Lalich) is a legitimate All-American candidate. He’s the returning PSAC West Player of the Year. He’s a 6’4″, 215-pound kid that can fire the football. So that’s where they make their living, in the throwing game.”
California averages 482 yards a game, with 358 of that coming through the air. The Vulcans also light up the scoreboard to the tune of 32 points per game.
West Chester and California (PA) will kick-off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on twitter @mattleonkyw.