Bill Zwaan, Jr. did something on Saturday September 29, for the first time since becoming the starting quarterback for the Golden Rams: take a knee to end a Bloomsburg game. The quarterback dropped to one knee as time expired and flipped the ball into the air after his club’s exhilarating 44-28 victory over division rival Bloomsburg. Mike Washington caught the game ball out of the air, and clutched it to his chest in the minutes following Saturday’s victory.
“This one’s coming with me to my house,” the third year receiver said.
There were several Golden Rams (1-0 PSAC East, 4-1 overall) worthy of taking home Saturday’s game ball, but Washington made his case early and he made it often.
All but silenced through the first four games of 2007, Washington opened the scoring in this pivotal showdown between Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference heavyweights.
Zwaan, Jr. fired a rocket screen to Washington along the sidelines and the receiver turned up field and broke several tackles en-route to the endzone, giving the Golden Rams an early 7-0 lead.
“He’s the best wideout in the country,” Zwaan Jr. said of his number one receiver “There’s no doubt about it.”
Washington would tack on two more receiving touchdowns and put this one out of reach for the Huskies (0-1, 2-3) for good when he took a hand off from Zwaan Jr. and turned an end-around up field for a 22 yard score, breaking six tackles in the process.
Fifth-year senior tailback Osagie Osunde continued his assault on the Golden Ram record books Saturday, as he broke Brian Penecale’s all time scoring record. Osunde became the first player in school history to surpass the 294-point plateau on a 19-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
“It’s a tribute to coach [Bill] Zwaan and the offense he put in, and the line that I’ve run behind here,” Osunde said.
Osunde led all rushers, with 137 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. For the season, the fifth- year senior now has 533 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns.
Zwaan, Jr. rebounded nicely from his disappointing performance in the second half against Shippensburg last week, completing 14 of 22 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns.
Much of the hype entering this game centered around Bloomsburg’s multi-faceted offensive attack, and for the most part, the Golden Rams were able to contain the Huskies.
It was clear from the onset that Jamar Brittingham would have to earn every one of his yards against West Chester. The senior managed just 74 yards rushing on 23 carries, and a meager 2.6 yards per carry average.
“What we stressed all week was to ‘do your job, do it as well as you can, and do it until the whistle blows,'” Zwaan said. “And by [the defensive line] doing their job, it opens up things for Mike Dell and Lateef [Ferguson] to make some key tackles.”
The Golden Rams were no match though for the Huskies’ dominant wide receiver, Brahin Bilal. Bilal and quarterback Dan Latorre had it working in this game, as the pair connected five teams, three of which for touchdowns. The receiver also notched 141 receiving yards. It wasn’t enough though, as the Huskies fell to 2-3 for the season, and 0-1 in the PSAC East.
The defensive standout for West Chester was senior safety and captain Mike Mignogno. Mignogno not only registered eight tackles, but also was Johnny on the spot, nabbing two crucial third quarter interceptions off Latorre.
West Chester made Mignogno’s second interception count, as Osunde made a one-yard touchdown plunge four plays later.
“He’s coming off a great game last week, too,” Coach Zwaan said “We’ve been waiting for Mike to make the big plays in big games, and he said to himself today that he would do that today and he did.”
The senior captain has been the rock in a secondary that has played fairly inconsistently this season, and Saturday was his coming out party.
Once again, Dell led all West Chester defenders in tackles for the second straight week. The sophomore posted 13 stops against Bloomsburg, and was a crucial part of West Chester’s success against Brittingham.
West Chester’s victory not only leaves them alone top the PSAC East, but also moves head coach Bill Zwaan’s all time record in division openers to a perfect 5-0.
The Golden Rams travel to Millersville to take on the 2-3 Marauders in a 6pm kickoff, heard exclusively on 91.7 FM WCUR, and www.redzonemedia.com
Matt Lombardo is a third-year student majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org