By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The West Chester Golden Rams are now ranked as high as 15th in the nation in Division II and on Saturday they will put their 6-0 record on the line as they visit Lock Haven.
Last weekend West Chester (3-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) picked up one of its more impressive wins of the season as they beat a talented East Stroudsburg team, 34-20, at John A. Farrell Stadium. The Warriors came into the game averaging 42 points a game, but the Golden Rams held them to one offensive touchdown (the other came on an interception return) and they shut them out in the second half.
“Our defensive staff did a really nice job making a couple of adjustments,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “Both on the sidelines and at halftime, to a couple of things that hurt us early in the game. We were able to shut down that offense and finally our guys got going offensively. (Quarterback) Sean McCartney had another nice game as did (running back) Rondell White.”
White continued his assault on the West Chester record books, rushing for 179 yards and catching five passes. McCartney threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns. And in an impressive display of just how dangerous this offense is, McCartney’s three scores went to three separate receivers, who all hit pay dirt for the first time in college.
“When I actually read the following day that three of our guys caught their first touchdown passes, I thought, ‘Geez, we’re playing some young guys in some big situations and they are coming through for us,'” Zwaan says. “So it was Shannon Mayer, Jimmy Hurley and (tight end) Shawn Driggins all catching their first touchdown passes. Two are freshman and one is a sophomore (Driggins). So we feel good about the depth.”
That depth is needed at wide receiver as one of the Golden Rams top targets, senior LaRonn Lee, is going to miss time with an injury.
Lock Haven is 2-4 on the season, 1-2 in the PSAC. Not great, but much more impressive when you consider they have already doubled their win total from 2008-2012 combined.
“Much better than they’ve been,” Zwaan says. “Their program was down a couple years ago, they have a new coach, new systems. They’re playing much harder, you can see they are getting better and better each week.”
This game is Lock Haven’s homecoming, so Zwaan says he expects them to really be fired up.
“They play hard,” Zwaan says. “They hit you and they come off the ball and come after you. We’ve got to play our game, we’ve got to be able to run the football because that’s one place where I think we probably have the advantage. We’ve just got to not turn the ball over, not give them too much life.”
West Chester and Lock Haven will kick-off at noon on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.