By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The undefeated West Chester Golden Rams are getting ready for their biggest test of the season. On Saturday, they travel out to Bloomsburg to face the undefeated Huskies.
These two teams are both 7-0 and tied for first in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division with 6-0 conference marks.
The Golden Rams, ranked seventh in the country in Division II, come into this game fresh off a 55-28 dismantling of Shippensburg last weekend. West Chester actually led by 41 points in the fourth quarter before the Red Raiders scored a couple of late touchdowns.
“From a defensive standpoint, we did a great job of corralling their wide receivers,” West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan tells KYW Newsradio. “Trevor Harman, who has been a great four-year player for them, had three catches for eight yards and Sheldon Mayer had three catches for 60 yards, but one of them was on a flea-flicker for about 40. So basically did a nice job of shutting them down. Then offensively, Sean McCartney having another big day, five touchdown passes and (393) yards passing.”
The Golden Rams also got a huge boost on defense from the return of standout senior linebacker Ronell Williams. He had missed the three previous games with a knee injury.
Bloomsburg, ranked as high as eighth in the land, is coming off a 31-13 win at Kutztown. They have scored at least 24 points in every game this season. Zwaan says they aren’t fancy on offense. Just very good. Especially in the running game.
Listen to Bill Zwaan talk to KYW’s Matt Leon:
“They run the same plays year in and year out, and they are really good at them,” Zwaan says. “I think that’s kind of their philosophy, ‘We’re not going to do a heck of a whole lot, we’re not going to try to confuse you, but we’re going to be really good at what we do.’ And when they have good offensive linemen and a great tailback, which a lot of years they have, it’s really hard to stop. And then, of course, they run the play action off of that, because you start selling out to stop the run and that play action pass becomes really big plays for them.”
Zwaan says the Huskies keep it pretty simple on defense as well.
“They stay in their scheme,” Zwaan says. “They feel like they play it well. A lot of their guys played against us last year, we played them twice last year. All three linebackers are the same, their secondary is the same. A couple of their front guys are the same, they graduated two guys, but the other two guys are there. So you’re talking about 9 of the 11 positions that are basically the same kids from a team that won the PSAC. It’s a tough defense for us to go against. We’ve got a good offense, we have confidence in our offense, but it’s probably the best defense we’ve faced so far this year.”
Last year these teams played twice. Bloomsburg won the regular season match-up, 31-28. But West Chester got revenge in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, winning at Bloomsburg, 40-38.
Saturday’s game gets underway at 2:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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