By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — West Chester will look to stay hot on Saturday when the Golden Rams welcome Bloomsburg to Farrell Stadium.

This game will be the final stage of a critical three-game stretch for West Chester. It started with a huge win against defending PSAC East champ Kutztown two weeks ago and then this past weekend, the Golden Rams beat previously undefeated Shippensburg, 37-27. That victory improved West Chester to 5-1 on the season and they are alone in first place with a perfect 3-0 mark in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Eastern Division.

“I was really impressed by our resiliency Saturday,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “We went into the game down a couple of guys, in particular on the offensive and defensive lines, then a couple of other guys went down during the game. So we were playing some guys who hadn’t played a whole lot and somehow those guys, they held it together. A couple of our key guys, [senior running back] Jarel Elder in particular made some big plays for us, [senior wide receiver] Tyler Karpinski another couple big plays. So the older guys made the plays when we had to and those young guys playing for the first time just hung in there and hung in there. Somehow we pulled it out. I feel like it was one of my best wins since I’ve been here because of the way the kids hung in there and got the job done.”

 

Elder rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard score with 4:07 left that put the game on ice. Karpinski had eight catches for 130 yards.

Against Shippensburg, the Golden Rams had to defend a team that can really throw the football. This week against Bloomsburg (4-2, 2-1 PSAC East) the West Chester defense will have to deal with an offense that has won a lot of games over the years running the football.

“Because they are so good running the football, the play-action pass has really been always good for them,” Zwaan says. “So you’ve got to defend the run, there is no question about that. Then that’s going to lead them to get a couple of guys open in the play-action pieces, so you do the best you can corralling that. But I think if you can shut down their run game and kind of force them to be more one-dimensional, that plays into our hands.”

Last year West Chester beat Bloomsburg on the road 27-7.

Saturday’s game will kick-off at 12:30pm.

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