PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is a critical game for the Division II West Chester Golden Rams on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Shippensburg to Farrell Stadium.
West Chester is now 2-3 on the season (1-1 in the PSAC East) after losing on the road to Kutztown last weekend, 20-14.
“Kutztown did a really nice job offensively in the first half,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “Our defense settled in and did play really well in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter where they made some big stops for us. But offensively, we keep making mistakes that are killing us right now. Couple of turnovers, penalties, assignment mistakes and they are all adding up to keep us out of the end zone.”
Listen to the entire interview with West Chester’s Bill Zwaan:
The next two weeks are critical for West Chester with match-ups against two perennial powers in the PSAC East, Shippensburg and then Bloomsburg. While the Golden Rams aren’t where they want to be in the standings, it should be noted their three losses have come by a combined total of just 17 points.
“I see us close to being a team that can play really well,” Zwaan says. “When I look at our defensive efforts, they’ve been great at times, so I see us play that well at times. Then offensively, I see us move the ball, but not get it in the end zone. We’re still averaging over 500 yards a game, but we’re scoring 32 or 33 points instead of in the 40s, which is where you’d expect to be when you’re (gaining) 500 yards a game. So we’ve got to put that extra touchdown or extra field goal in the offense and that will give us the opportunity to win games. But we’re just short of it right now and it’s certainly looks like we can correct it.”
Shippensburg is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the PSAC East. Last week, they beat Lock Haven, 38-16.
“They are very aggressive defensively,” Zwaan says. “They are a downhill team, so they are going to try to take the run game away from you. That’s the way their defense is set up. So you are going to have to be able to complete some passes against some tight, man-to-man coverage.”
The Red Raiders average about 29 points per game on offense.
“They are a spread team, they are a zone-read type team,” Zwaan says.
Last season, West Chester lost to Shippensburg, 27-11.
Saturday’s game will kick-off at 12:05pm.