Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

West Chester continued their undefeated streak this past Saturday against Lock Haven University, as the Golden Rams beat the Bald Eagles with a final score of 34-13.
The win brings the Golden Ram’s record to a perfect 7-0 on the season thus far, and a perfect 4-0 in the PSAC conference. With the win against Lock Haven, No. 15 West Chester have their best start to a season since 1974, when they started the season 8-0.
Quarterback Sean McCartney had a mostly solid day on the turf, going 15-for-20 for 251 yards and a touchdown, though he did throw two interceptions. Besides those two errors, McCartney led the Rams down the field with ease throughout the game, racking up plenty of yards in the process.
This team is currently sporting a perfect record, and that record could not be obtained without the leadership and skill of McCartney. After a lost season last year due to an injury, seeing McCartney perform this well has been a well-recieved pleasant surprise this season. Make no mistake about it: McCartney is one of the biggest factors in West Chester’s undefeated season. Without his play, the Golden Rams might not be having their best start since 1974.
Running back Rondell White also had one of his best games of the season against Lock Haven, as he took the ball 33 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air, White caught four passes for a total of 85 yards, helping McCartney throughout the game with screen passes and several big gains. On top of all this, White had a kickoff return that went for 26 yards. In total, White amassed 307 all-purpose yards against the Bald Eagles.
Fellow running back Brandon Monk also had a solid outing against Lock Haven. Making the most of his carries, Monk took the ball only four times, but managed to collect 33 yards off those carries, as well as a touchdown. Monk also had three kickoff returns for 44 yards in total.
This running back tandem has been carving up defenses all season long, and this game was no different. One of the best players West Chester has ever had in their history, White continues to be dominant in all areas of the game, helping in any way he can. This game marked White’s fifth 100-yard game of the season, and West Chester fans can expect many more before this season’s over. The thunder-and-lightning duo of White and Monk simply cannot be contained, as the duo looks more formidable than ever.
Though White led the team in receiving yards this week, the wide receivers of the Golden Rams squad also performed admirably during the game. Tim Keyser led the wide receivers with four catches for 53 yards, while fellow wide receiver Erik Brundidge caught McCartney’s only touchdown pass of the day, finishing the day with three catches for 49 yards and the aforementioned score.
West Chester’s wide receivers continue to make plays for McCartney, making crucial catches in every contest thus far. Whether it be a crucial third down, or a necessary scoring-drive, this talented group of wide receivers make plays week after week, helping the Golden Rams and their undefeated season.
Fellow wide receivers Adam Dempsey and Shannon Mayer also had catches on the day. Dempsey caught one pass for 23 yards, while Mayer, last week’s breakout receiver, also had one catch go for 23 yards. Running back, Eddie Elliott, who has been used as a wide receiver multiple times on the season, had two receptions for 18 yards.
The defense this week for the Golden Rams was excellent, delivering big tackles and picking off Lock Haven’s quarterback Caleb Walton. Holding the Bald Eagles to only 13 points, the Rams’ defense continues to give opposing offenses more than they can handle.
Leading the team in tackles against Lock Haven was linebacker Mike Labor, who had nine tackles in total (three solo, six assisted). Labor has been one of the driving forces for this defense this season, never letting any big plays occur on his watch. This dynamic linebacker is one of the leader’s of this defense, and his play on the field is a key component in West Chester’s success.
Not to be outdone, fellow linebacker Ronnell Williams also had a great day against Lock Haven. Williams finished his day with six tackles (four solo, two assisted), an interception, and a sack against the struggling Bald Eagles offense. Williams was a force to be reckoned with on Saturday, making some of West Chester’s biggest plays on defense against Lock Haven.
These two linebackers feed off of each other weekly, combining to keep running backs from breaking off any big runs and pressuring the opposing offense’s quarterback throughout the contest. Labor and Williams have their work cut out for them in the next few weeks, but it should not be too big of an issue for this impressive duo.
The defensive line for West Chester also chipped in with multiple big plays. Defensive linemen Demrick Cook had two sacks on the day (with five tackles in total), and fellow defensive linemen Andrew Cohen also had a sack against the Bald Eagles (as well as four tackles in total). Anthony McCloskey had six tackles on the day (four solo, two assited), and Shaquil Ryder had only one tackle, but converted it into a sack against Lock Haven.
In the defensive backfield, cornerbacks Al-Hajj Shabazz and Blaise Schieler had their best game in weeks. The cornerback tandem did not let Walton throw a single touchdown against West Chester, making sure Walton’s receivers did not make any large gains on the day. Shabazz finished with four tackles (three solo, one assisted), while Schieler had six tackles (two solo, four assisted).
Kicker Shawn Leo had a perfect day kicking for the Rams, as he was two-for-two on the day with his field goals. Leo’s first kick was a 41-yard attempt that sailed through the goal post towards the end of the first half. On Leo’s second attempt, he had no problem striking from 29 yards away. Leo was also perfect on all of his extra-point attempts.
With the defense working together to create havoc on offenses, and the special teams clicking again, the Golden Rams do not appear to be slowing down any time soon. However, next Saturday, the Rams have one of their toughest opponents yet, as they travel to Shippensburg to face their rivals on Shippensburg’s homecoming.
Last season, West Chester was defeated by Shippensburg at their own homecoming, with a final score of 24-42. This season, the Golden Rams will look to return the favor, as they look to continue their perfect season against the Warriors.
Oliver Suskin-Santarelli is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at 

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