Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

The Golden Ram’s put on a show in their season opener for Men’s Football, taking down No. 12 University of New Haven, 45-14 at Farrell Stadium.
Leading the Golden Ram’s was quarterback Sean McCartney, who went 20-for-26 for 290 yards and three touchdowns. McCartney, who missed most of last season with an injury, showed tremendous accuracy, consistently putting the ball right where the receiver had to be. McCartney led his squad up and down the field, giving Golden Ram fans hope for the season.
Running right behind McCartney throughout the game was running back Rondell White, who finished the day with 96 yards and two touchdowns on the ground off of 28 carries. White also caught six catches for 94 yards and another touchdown. To add to those superb stats, White also took to kickoff returns for 87 yards.
White, who broke multiple records for West Chester last season, looks ready to continue right where he left off from last fall. Running with great awareness and superb agility, White will only help this team as the season continues, hopefully adding some new records in the process.
Brandon Monk and Eddie Elliott also had productive days rushing for the Golden Rams. Monk had nine carries for 53 yards, displaying his lightning-quick speed to have an average of 5.9 per carry for the day. Elliott, who had only two carries, made the most of them by gaining 50 yards and a touchdown, highlighted by a spectacular 50 yard run down the field, weaving in and out of linebackers to secure the Golden Ram’s touchdown.
Elsewhere on the offense, wide receiver Erik Brundidge connected with McCartney for four catches, resulting in 79 yards and a touchdown. Brundidge, a breakout wide receiver from last season, continues to show his tremendous speed down the field, grabbing a 46-yard pass from McCartney that resulted in his touchdown.
Wide receivers Tim Keyser, Adam Dempsey and LaRonn Lee also made multiple catches throughout the day. Lee, who had two catches for 33 yards, also caught McCartney’s third touchdown with his second and final catch of the day. These three wide receivers, as well as Brundidge, compile a legitimate receiving core for the offense, and should have continued success this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Golden Rams stopped University of New Haven’s quarterback Ronnie Nelson in his tracks throughout the game. Nelson and his running backs were able to gain some yards on the ground, but not enough to keep the score close to the Rams.
Leading in tackles this week was linebacker Mike Labor, who had six solo and four assisted. Labor was a one-man wrecking machine, making multiple stops so that the Chargers could not secure the first down.
Helping out Labor was Shawn Krautzel, who chipped in with eight tackles (three solo, five assisted) and an interception. Krautzel’s interception was a game-changer, reading Nelson’s eyes the whole play to pick the ball off and set up another Golden Ram’s touchdown.
On the defensive line, defensive ends Chris DiValentino and Eric Edwers teamed up to create havoc in the backfield of New Haven’s offense during the four quarters. DiValentino had West Chester’s only sack of the day, while Edwers had two tackles for losses. In-between them were defensive tackles Demrick Cook and Anthony McCloskey, who racked three and two tackles, respectively.
Ronell Williams, one of the defensive leaders for the Golden Rams, also had a productive day, with the linebacker making seven tackles (four solo, three assisted), with one of those going for a loss of two yards. Williams had an extremely productive season last year, gaining multiple accolades in the process, and will be one of the key players for this defense if they want to succeed.
The backfield for West Chester’s defense also made Nelson’s day even harder, making multiple breakups between Nelson and his receivers. Blaise Schieler, a defensive back who redshirted last year, had seven tackles (five solo, two assisted) and a breakup. Across from Schieler, Al-Hajj Shabazz had three tackles (two solo, one assisted) and a breakup as well. These two corners gave New Haven’s wide receivers trouble all day, showing signs of what is to come from the two this season.
On special teams, Byron Cooper blocked a New Haven punt, which was then recovered by Shabazz. Kicker Shawn Leo was one for two on the day for field goals, connecting from 25 yards away.
The Golden Ram’s upcoming schedule includes games against Gannon, Millersville and Kutztown. If the Golden Ram’s continue to show the dominance they displayed on Saturday, this should be an extremely productive season for the men’s squad. McCartney and White lead a team that is ready to take the next step this season, and look to take the top spot in the PSAC East Conference.
Oliver Suskin-Santarelli is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at OS753461@wcupa.edu.

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