Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

After a historic start to the season, the West Chester Golden Rams’ undefeated season finally saw its first loss, as the purple and gold fell to the Bloomsburg Huskies with a final score of 28-31.
No. 8 West Chester will take a tumble down the Division II rankings, as their dreams of hosting the PSAC Championship game also vanished with their loss to the Huskies. Bloomsburg will now be hosting the PSAC Champsionship game against Slippery Rock University.
Quarterback Sean McCartney had a very inconsistent game, finishing the day with 16 completions in 26 attempts for 305 yards. McCartney threw four touchdowns off of those 16 completions, but also threw a brutal interception that was taken all the way back to the end zone, tacking on another seven points for the Huskies.
“We came out slow in the beginning, which hurt us. Really, we didn’t pick up our offense until the end of the game,” McCartney said after the game. “I also had a costly turnover that hurt us big time. We’ll just have to put this game in the past.”
Even in the face of adversity, McCartney almost made a historic comeback for the Golden Rams, taking the team all the way back to bring the score to 28-31. However, the Golden Rams could not recover their onside kick attempt, sealing the win for the Huskies.
McCartney might not have had his best game of the season, but he certainly deserves credit for almost bringing the team back against Bloomsburg. A lot of McCartney’s in completions were drops at the hands of his receivers, hurting the Rams’ offense in the process. McCartney will surely bounce back next week, looking to avenge West Chester’s first loss of the season.
Running back Rondell White also had an inconstinent day on the football field, getting tackled multiple times at the line of scrimmage throughout the game. Though White took the ball 21 times, he only was able to gain 88 yards on the ground. White also had five catches for 44 yards, though he also had one drop that most certainly would have gone for a touchdown.
On the opposing offense, Huskies’ running back Franklyn Quiteh, one of the few running backs ranked higher than White in Division II football, took the ball 30 times for 154 yards and a touchdown. Quiteh also had one catch that went for 10 yards.
In the battle of all-star running backs, Quiteh won this battle between himself and White. White, who usually can create yards on any given play, was constantly taken out by the Huskies’ defense. On multiple third-and-short opportunities, White would take the ball, only to fall short of the first down. White will look to rebound in what could be the final game of his career next Saturday at Farrell Stadium.
As mentioned, West Chester’s receivers didn’t have their greatest day on the turf either, missing many opportunities to make big plays for the Golden Rams. Running back Eddie Elliott had four catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Rams in receiving. Erik Brundidge also had four catches, finishing the day with 76 yards and a touchdown. Tim Keyser’s only catch of the day went for 71 yards and a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Tight end Tim Brown had McCartney’s other two completions, taking the catches for 35 yards total.
This could have been a much better game for West Chester’s receivers, and one that will linger for weeks to come. Receivers such as Adam Dempsey and Shannon Mayer did not even receive one catch against the Huskies, as the gameplan against Bloomsburg centered around Rondell White for most of the game. Of course, when the receivers did have their chances, they rarely capitalized, forcing multiple three-and-outs. This receiving core will see much better days ahead, and will look to prove this game was just a fluke in an otherwise superb season.
West Chester’s offense might have been poor against Bloomsburg, but West Chester’s defense was just as bad, if not worse. Bloomsburg quarterback Tim Kelly was able to make critical plays on almost every series against West Chester, especially on third downs. Kelly finished the game going 16-for-27 for 262 yards, as well as rushing five times for 19 yards and a touchdown against the Rams’ defense.
Leading in tackles this week was linebacker Mike Labor, who had 12 total (seven solo, five assisted). Brandon Pepper, Shawn Krautzel and Ronnell Williams all had ten tackles against the Huskies, with Krautzel recovering the game’s only fumble off of a botched snap from Bloomsburg’s center.
Defensive tackle Anthony McCloskey had West Chester’s only sack on the day, taking down Kelly for a loss of nine yards. McCloskey tallied five tackles against the Huskies overall (two solo, three assisted).
“It was a tough day. They’re a great team,” McCloskey said after the game. “Their offensive line is very good, and just had a better day today. We didn’t execute some things defensively, and that’s what hurt us. If we came up with a turnover, that would have been clutch. We just had a bad game defensively.”
McCloskey’s comments accurately reflect West Chester’s day on the field, with the defense playing one of their worst games of the season yet. Kelly completed passes at will, finding his top receiver, Glenn Hutton Jr., five times for 100 yards. All the defensive backs for West Chester had trouble stopping Hutton and his fellow receivers, with Al-Hajj Shabazz and Blaise Schieler letting multiple conversions be completed for the Huskies. It was most certainly a day to forget for this talented defense.
With this loss, West Chester finds themselves out of the PSAC Championship game, and now will be playing Clarion University at home next Saturday. The Golden Eagles currently sit on a 4-6 record for the season, and will travel to Farrell Stadium to take on West Chester. With the Rams bitter about their first loss and wanting to show their worth, look for a motivated West Chester team to come out and play hard in what could be their final home game of the year.
Oliver Suskin-Santarelli is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at OS753461@wcupa.edu.

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