By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the first time in 2013, the West Chester University football team tasted defeat this past Saturday, as they lost to visiting Bloomsburg, 31-28.

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“It took us awhile to get going,” Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “We really didn’t have a good first-half. And then we finally got going there in the fourth quarter and made it a game late. But the truth is we just didn’t play our best football against a good team in a big spot. When that happens, you end up suffering a loss. It was our first one.”

The loss dropped the Golden Rams to 9-1 on the season and cost them a berth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title game. But there is still much to play for as West Chester readies for its regular season finale on Saturday, at home, against Clarion. The Golden Rams currently sit fourth in the regional rankings and if they can beat Clarion, they should be in excellent shape to qualify for the playoffs.

Clarion started the season 3-0, but they have gone 1-6 since.

“Their quarterback, their returning kid from last year who is a really good player, got hurt after the third game and that (led) to them struggling a little bit,” Zwaan says. “They are really strong defensively up front, they give a lot of people problems. Offensively, they’re running the zone read really well. Their quarterback, when he keeps the ball, he’s really dangerous. So we have to be disciplined and we’ve got to make sure everybody takes their assignments, especially when their assignment is the quarterback, they’ve got to make sure they take care of that.”

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The list of 28 candidates in the running for the Harlon Hill Award (Division II Heisman Trophy) have been announced, and one of them is West Chester’s fine senior tailback Rondell White. He has rushed for 1,503 yards and 17 touchdowns while catching 52 passes for another 622 yards and two more scores.

“If he has a nice game this weekend, he could end up being the leader in almost every category in the school’s history as far as running and all-purpose (yardage) is concerned,” Zwaan says. “He’s been a great player. He’s great to watch each week and I just hope we can get him a couple more games so he can keep playing.”

West Chester and Clarion will kick-off at noon on Saturday.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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