By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The West Chester Golden Rams have put themselves in a great position coming down the home stretch of the 2013 college football regular season as they get ready to visit local rival Cheyney,
West Chester improved to 8-0 on the season (5-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East) with a thrilling 32-29 win over a very good Shippensburg team last weekend. The Rams also are ranked #1 in the initial Super Region 1 poll. That’s used to determine the six teams from the region who will qualify for the 2013 NCAA Division II Football Championships.
As for that win over Shippensburg, senior kicker Shawn Leo provided the heroics when he hit a 26-yard field goal with a second left. But head coach Bill Zwaan says the victory did come at a price.
“We had a bunch of guys go down to injury,” Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “And the guys who stepped in, especially at the quarterback position, really did a great job for us. So there were a lot of really positives that came out of that win. We obviously had our back up against the wall numerous times and a lot of adversity to fight through and in the end we just kept hanging in and hanging in and the kids never put their heads down. We got the field goal at the end to win the game. So a lot of positives taken out of there, the negatives were the injuries. We got a bunch of guys that got banged up and all to different degrees. Hopefully we’re going to get a couple of them back at some point and time, but right now we’re a little banged up.”
Starting quarterback Sean McCartney suffered a lower leg strain in the win. Back-ups Andrew Derr and Drew Loughery, however, stepped in and played well, allowing the Golden Rams to grab the victory. Zwann talks about his quarterback situation for the match-up with the Wolves.
“I don’t think Sean will play,” Zwaan says. “We’re getting a little bit of good news about his injury, that it looks better than we were hoping. But I don’t know that he’ll be back for this week. And if he’s not back, then both Andrew and Drew will split the time. We’ll probably starts Andrew and then Drew will get some playing time.”
It has been a struggle for Cheyney this season. The Wolves are 0-8 (0-5 in the PSAC East), but they do pose problems because offensively they run the triple-option, and that can cause headaches because teams don’t see it very often. In fact, Zwaan says this will be the first time his team has seen it this season.
“That’s the first thing and that worries you,” Zwaan says. “And they are doing it out of a lot of different formations, doing it a little bit differently than they have in the past. So you’ve got to adjust to the formations. They try to spread you out and then all of sudden they are back running the triple. We have to be disciplined in our assignments, because if you miss an assignment, then the fullback splits you for 30 yards. Or if you attack the quarterback and he pitches, now the guy gets outside on the flank with the ball. So you really have to play your assignments defensively and not try to do too much.”
Last season, West Chester beat Cheyney 59-14, and the Golden Rams have dominated this series all-time, winning 44 of 47 match-ups.
Kick-off on Saturday is set for noon at Cheyney.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.