Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

At the beginning of the 2010 season, the West Chester University Golden Rams (3-5, 3-2 PSAC East) had high hopes of winning the PSAC East and a PSAC Championship. After a slow start to the season, West Chester had an opportunity to fulfill those goals by winning every game for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately for the Golden Rams, the quest for a conference title came to an end on Saturday after division rival No. 16 Bloomsburg University Huskies (7-1, 5-0 PSAC East) manhandled West Chester 45-21 in front of Bloomsburg’s large homecoming crowd.

“In a game like this you can’t let the good teams jump out on top of you,” head coach Bill Zwaan said.

The Huskies got on the board early and often against the Golden Rams in the first quarter. Freshman sensation running back Franklyn Quiteh, who leads the nation in rushing, averaging 164 yards per game, got things started. He ran three times for 51 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run to get Bloomsburg on the board first.

“It’s really good,” Zwaan said of the Huskies running game. “It’s the best run game we’ve faced all year. They are real good at it year in and year out.”

“Defensively we need to get it together,” senior defensive end Travis Ford-Bey said. “We need to get our gaps, do our assignments and do what we’re supposed to do. We need to be more aggressive and more physical out there.”

On their next offensive possession, the Huskies mixed the run and pass as they were able to move the ball down the field on the West Chester defense once again. After Andre Morales’ 16-yard run, Quiteh fumbled when sophomore cornerback Bob Sabol hit him, but the Golden Rams were unable to recover the fumble. Bloomsburg continued to run the ball until quarterback Pat Carey found wide receiver Kyle Fisher for 14 yards. On the next play, Carey connected with tight end Ben Weaber for a seven-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.

After another three-and-out by the West Chester offense, the Huskies once again found the end zone. Starting at the Golden Rams 37-yard line, it only took Bloomsburg three plays before adding to their score. Carey hooked up with wide receiver Tyler Guise for a 30-yard touchdown to give the Huskies a three touchdown lead.

The second quarter was a different story for West Chester. Sophomore quarterback Mike Mattei led his best drive of the afternoon. Right before the end of the first quarter, Mattei connected with senior wide receiver Dan DePalma for 23 yards on third-and-two to help build some momentum going into the second quarter.

Mattei then connected with junior running back Jackson Fagan for ten yards and freshman running back Rondell White for nine yards before hitting freshman wide receiver LaRonn Lee for an 18-yard touchdown to get the Golden Rams on the board.

“I’m not about individual efforts,” Lee said. “That touchdown was for the team.”

At the end of the second quarter, West Chester orchestrated a 13-play, 62-yard drive to get within a touchdown of the Huskies. Mattei completed a 21-yard pass to Fagan to get within Bloomsburg territory. Mattei then connected with DePalma for 11 yards before rushing for 13 yards on third-and-ten. After a 15-yard pass interference penalty was called on the Huskies defense, Mattei made the Bloomsburg defense pay. Mattei found redshirt freshman wide receiver Tim Keyser for a five-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 with 28.6 seconds left in the first half.

The Huskies wasted little time in getting back on the board. Bloomsburg pulled a play out of their bag of tricks when Carey threw behind the line of scrimmage to Weaber, who then threw a 53-yard pass to Fisher to get to the Golden Rams three-yard line.

On the next play, Carey found Weaber for his second touchdown of the game to give the Huskies a 28-14 halftime lead.

“I thought we fought back,” Zwaan said. “We did a great job of putting the ball in the [end zone] at the end of the half.”

In the third quarter, after forcing a Bloomsburg punt, the West Chester offense went back to work. On second-and-ten, senior running back D’Andre Webb took the handoff and ran down the right sideline for a 77-yard touchdown run to make it 28-21.

“Emotionally going into the locker room where we should have been on a real high back in the game with a legitimate shot of making something out of this,” Zwaan said. “It’s just such a stupid football play defensively to let that happen.”

Unfortunately for the Golden Rams, that was the final time they would reach the end zone. Four minutes later, the Huskies would increase their lead.

On third-and-23 from their 46-yard line, Carey completed a 47-yard pass to Guise over senior cornerback Cordero Newkirk. Two plays later, Quiteh finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

“If we make a play there,” Zwaan said about the third-and-23 conversion by Bloomsburg. “It’s a different football game.”

West Chester went into their bag of tricks, but unfortunately the result was not what they wanted.

On second down, Lee took the handoff and threw the ball down field looking for Keyser but the pass was intercepted by Justin Rivera. The first turnover of the game for the Golden Rams took away any shot for them to make a comeback in the game.

“It was my fault,” Lee said of the interception. “I misread the safety; he was deeper than I thought. That was bad judgment on my part.”

Bloomsburg finished off the scoring in the fourth quarter when Quiteh scored his third rushing touchdown of the game with a 17-yard run to make it 45-21.

Webb led West Chester with 83 yards rushing on three carries (27.7 yards per carry). Mattei finished 13-29 for 143 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers.

Quiteh led all rushers with 161 rushing and three touchdowns. Codie Butler chipped in with 110 yards on the ground. Carey finished 7-13 for 122 yards and three touchdowns.

The Golden Rams finished with 250 yards of total offense, compared to the Huskies 510 yards of total offense.

This Saturday, West Chester travels to Kutztown to face the undefeated and 21st ranked Golden Bears at 6 p.m. as they plan to play spoiler as Kutztown looks to continue their historic season.

“We have to practice hard and come back next week better,” Lee said.

“All we can do is stay together and try to finish the season strong,” Ford-Bey said.

LJ Harrell is a graduate student majoring in communications studies. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.

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