By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The West Chester Golden Rams will celebrate homecoming on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference rival Shippensburg to John A. Farrell Stadium.
West Chester is 6-0 (5-0 in the PSAC), ranked as high as 8th in the country in Division II and coming off a 29-7 win over Kutztown last Thursday night.
“Kutztown gave us a big challenge,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “Especially their offense. So in a short week getting ready for that offense, our defensive guys did a great job. Our defensive coaches and our players just really performed very well. And then we did just enough offensively, we probably could’ve won by a few more points, but we did a good job of taking care of business up there.”
Now it was a Thursday game, so the Golden Rams had to deal with a short week getting ready for Kutztown. The upside of playing on a Thursday is, if you win, you then get a few extra days to savor it, almost like a bye week.
“If we were in a bye week we probably would’ve done something similar practice-wise up until Thursday and given them the weekend off,” Zwaan says. “So to a certain extent it acts like a bye, especially from the physical standpoint. Having those couple extra days is really going to help us.”
Listen to the whole interview with West Chester’s Bill Zwaan:
On Saturday, West Chester will take on a 3-3 Shippensburg team that has spent the last several years as a top flight PSAC squad, thanks in large part to the play of quarterback, and 2012 Harlon Hill Award winner, Zach Zulli. Now he graduated after last season, but even without Zulli, Zwaan says the Red Raiders are still impressive on offense.
“Their two receivers are still there,” Zwaan says. “(Senior) Trevor Harmon, who has now broken, I think, all the PSAC records, including all of (former West Chester wide receiver) Mike Washington’s records. And I know what Mike Washington was like. Trevor Harmon has been that type of receiver for them. He’s always made big plays, scores touchdowns, tons of catches, tons of yards after the catch. Very, very dangerous player and he’s given us problems over the years, and now he’s a senior. So that’s the #1 guy. And then (junior) Sheldon Mayer, who is the brother of (West Chester WR) Shannon Mayer, one of the fastest receivers in the league, really has come into his own.”
Harmon has 67 catches in six games this season for the Red Raiders, including 8 touchdowns. Mayer has 44 receptions and he has found the end zone 9 times. The quarterback taking over for Zulli this season is a junior named Chris Lawshe. He is averaging 302 yards a game and has 16 touchdown passes. He can also get it done with his feet. He has rushed for 269 yards and four scores.
Last season, West Chester beat Shippensburg on the road, 32-29.
Saturday’s game will kick-off at 2:00 pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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