Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

The Golden Rams continued their perfect season Saturday, going to Gannon University and handing the Golden Knights their first loss of the season with a score of 56 to 41.
This was West Chester’s second time ever playing Gannon in football, having beat Gannon last year with a score of 21 to 17.
Just as he did last week against the University of New Haven, Rondell White turned in a superb effort against Gannon on their turf. White rushed for 245 yards and two touchdowns off of 32 attempts, good for an average of 7.7 yards per carry. White also managed to catch seven passes from quarterback Sean McCartney, gaining 87 yards off of those catches as well. White even threw a pass for 18 yards and a touchdown to capitalize on Gannon’s defense throughout the day.
White, in his senior year, has looked nothing short of unstoppable early in the Golden Ram’s season. White was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division offensive player of the week last week for racking up 277 all purpose yards against the University of New Haven. After his incredible game against Gannon, expect White to be a strong contender to receive the prestigious honor once again.
Elsewhere on the offense, quarterback Sean McCartney continued his excellent start to the season by throwing for 305 yards against Gannon. McCartney completed 23 of 35 passes, as well as throwing five touchdowns in the process. McCartney also rushed twice for eight yards.
McCartney looks to be in total control of the Golden Ram’s offense, and has passed for eight touchdowns in two weeks of action. Showing an uncanny ability to face pressure in the pocket and still deliver the ball to his receivers, McCartney shows no signs of slowing down at any point this season.
Speaking of McCartney’s receivers, Erik Brundidge and Adam Dempsey both had a day to remember on Saturday against Gannon. Brundidge caught seven passes for 71 yards, as well as a team-leading three touchdown receptions (one of which came from White). Dempsey led the receivers in yards with 93 off of three catches, as well as taking two of those catches to the end zone.
Brundidge continues to follow his breakout 2012 season with a series of tremendous games in 2013 thus far. Through two games, Brundidge has compiled four touchdown catches, making him one of West Chester’s biggest playmakers on offense.
Wide receivers Tim Keyser, LaRon Lee and Tim Brown also chipped on West Chester’s offense, reeling in passes from McCartney to help move the Golden Ram’s offense forward. Jared Bonacquisti, the Ram’s fullback, also caught a two-yard pass for his first touchdown of the season.
Defensive lineman Andrew Cohen was the defensive player of the week for the Rams, racking up four tackles (two of them going for a loss of 13 yards), 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Cohen wrecked havoc on Gannon’s offense, causing Gannon’s quarterback, Liam Nadler, to scramble multiple times throughout the game.
Cornerback Blaise Schieler led the Rams in tackles this week with nine, bringing his season total to 16 thus far. Fellow cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz also had a successful day on the football field, making seven tackles, breaking up one pass, and intercepting another. This cornerback tandem has given quarterbacks’ all they can handle so far in the season, and looks to continue making big plays for the Rams in the upcoming weeks.
Linebackers Mike Labor and Ronell Williams, two of the team’s best performers from last week, continued to make their presence felt, both chipping in with eight tackles. Williams in particular had 1.5 of his tackles go for a loss of six yards, half a sack and a fumble recovery on the day. Cornerback Shawn Krautzel also made eight tackles for the Ram’s defense.
Defensive linemen Eric Edwers, Chris DiValentino, Anthony McCloskey and Jamiel Sims also had multiple stops against Gannon. Edwers had seven tackles (one of which went for a loss of seven yards) and a sack on the day. DiValentino put together five tackles, with 1.5 of those going for a loss. McCloskey put up four tackles, with one of those going for a loss. Finally, Sims had three tackles, with half of one going for a loss, as well as half a sack.
West Chester’s kicker, Shawn Leo, did not attempt any field goals against Gannon; however, he was successful on all eight of his extra-point kicks.
Though he did not get a chance to kick any field goals, make no mistake: Leo is an important x-factor for this team.
The Golden Ram’s have been dominant these past two weeks, and the offense, defense, and special teams all have been remarkable. Head Coach Bill Zwaan has prepared his team terrifically for each contest so far in the season, and will look to extend West Chester’s perfect season next week at Millersville University.
Last season, West Chester crushed Millersville 56 to 14. With West Chester’s confidence sky-high as they beat Gannon and are now nationally ranked (No. 23 in the nation), expect another sensational performance from the Golden Ram’s when they take on the Millersville Marauders.
Oliver Suskin-Santarelli is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at 

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