By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The West Chester Golden Rams are getting ready for the biggest game of their season on Saturday. They will host 8-1 Bloomsburg, with the winner grabbing the PSAC East title and a berth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship game.
The Golden Rams improved to 9-0 last weekend, as they dismissed winless Cheyney 66-14, doing so despite missing some key pieces.
“We were banged up going into the Cheyney game, so we didn’t play, probably five starters,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “So a lot of our back-up kids had to play and did a really nice job for us and got us to this point.”
One of the back-ups that stepped in was quarterback Andrew Derr. He started in place of the injured Sean McCartney and threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns. McCartney has been dealing with a lower leg strain, but Zwaan said on Thursday, that McCartney practiced for the first time on Wednesday, and he seemed encouraged by his progress.
“I think (McCartney)is probable for Saturday,” Zwaan says. “But if not, Andrew Derr will be ready to go. But hopefully we can get Sean back.”
Bloomsburg’s only loss came in their last game, as they fell to Shippensburg, 34-18 on Halloween.
The Huskies have been a PSAC and regional power for years, and Zwaan says they are following their usual formula for success.
“They’ve always been a real-good power running team, and that’s what they are,” Zwaan says. “Their tailback Franklyn Quiteh, (is second in) the country is rushing (this season). He has broken all the PSAC records. He is one of the best runners in PSAC history, not just in Bloomsburg history. And that’s what they lean on. They are going to run the ball and they are going to do everything they can to push you down the field and control the clock. They mix their passing game in there, obviously when you have a great running game, it helps your passing game.”
Quiteh has rushed for 1,602 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, while averaging an absurd 8.9 yards-a-carry.
Last season, Bloomsburg held off West Chester, to pick up a 24-23 win.
Saturday’s game at John A. Farrell Stadium in West Chester will kick-off at 1:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.