By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — West Chester will look for a second straight win to open the 2014 season on Saturday when they host Mercyhurst in their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and home opener.
The Golden Rams opened the campaign with a hard fought, 35-30 victory last week on the road at New Haven.
“We didn’t play great, but we got the win,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “We made a lot of first game mistakes, we were able to overcome some of those. We blocked a couple punts, that was huge in the game and then we hung in there. We had the lightning delay for about an hour-and-a-half, so the guys had to work their way through that. So there was a lot of adversity for them to work though, and they came away with the win.”
West Chester got yet another big game in the win from quarterback Sean McCartney who threw four touchdown passes.
Mercyhurst is coming off a 7-4 2013 season. The Lakers dropped their 2014 opener last week, 27-21, on the road against Bentley.
“They are a physical team,” Zwaan says. “Mercyhurst always plays you tough. So we’ve got to bring our physicality, also. And that was one of the things I didn’t see us do as well as I wanted to last week. So I think we’re going to have to up our game from a physical standpoint and the run game.”
Zwaan talks about a point of emphasis for his defense in this one.
“We’ve got to shut down their run game,” Zwaan says. “Bentley was able to do that against them, so I’m hoping we’re going to have some success doing that. If we can shut down their run game, I think we’ll be in good shape. But I think that’s a big task. I was surprised Bentley was able to do it as well as they did.”
Bentley held Mercyhurst to 44 yards on the ground last week.
West Chester and Mercyhurst will kick-off at noon on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.