Newark, DE- In week two the Golden Rams traveled to Tubby Raymond Stadium on the campus of the University of Delaware to take on the University of Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday, September 9. This game has perennially been one of the most anticipated on the schedule for the players, fans and alumni alike. “Playing against Delaware is one of the main reasons I came to West Chester,” said linebacker Jimmy Lewis. “We don’t look at this as a great opportunity, we believe we can beat anybody,” Lewis added. Lewis and company will have to wait another year before celebrating a win against the Blue Hens.
The evening began with much promise for West Chester as the Golden Rams put together a solid seven play drive on their first series of the game. The offense took over possession of the ball at its own 39 yard line after a Delaware three and out to open the game. Bill Zwaan J.R. passed for nineteen yards, and Michael Washington rushed the ball for a 25 yard gain on an end around as the team marched 46 yards to the Delaware 15 yard line. The Golden Rams had momentum.
Then, Alex Walsh missed his first collegiate field goal in eight attempts, and the wheels came off. “That’s the kind of thing; I’m disappointed in it because in order to beat Delaware we have to make that field goal,” said Coach Zwaan. Against Delaware, a team like West Chester needs to capitalize on every opportunity. “In order to beat Delaware’s football team you can’t make those kind of mistakes, you can’t miss that field goal, you can’t throw an interception and you can’t have a big punt return,” added Zwaan.
Delaware marched down the field leading up to a Zach Hobby 45 yard field goal. The Golden Rams would commit their fifth turnover of the season when Zwaan JR threw an interception to Aaron Hicks who returned the ball 33 yards to the West Chester eight yard line. There wasn’t anything the defense could do as the Blue Hens would score two plays later on a Joe Flacco four yard quarterback draw making the score 10-0.
West Chester would again be forced to punt on their next possession. Anthony Belasco booted a 46 yard punt to the Delaware 40 yard line, and Aaron Love cut through the Golden Ram punt coverage for a 42 yard return to the West Chester 18 yard line. Two plays later, Flacco completed a sixteen yard touchdown pass to true freshman running back Jared Bradley, who hauled in his first career touchdown, making the score 17-0 Delaware to close out the first quarter.
The Blue Hens would take a 27-0 lead into halftime after Flocco hooked up with tight end Robbie Agnone for a 50 yard touchdown strike. Hobby would add a 39 yard field goal in the closing seconds of the half.
Meanwhile, the Golden Ram offense remained in neutral accounting for just 112 yards in the opening half. All things considered the defense performed admirably, surrendering just 184 yards of total offense in the first half to the Division I-AA 15 ranked Blue Hens.
The second half would be a defensive struggle in which the Golden Rams surrendered just seven points to the Blue Hens and accounted for the only West Chester points of the game. Delaware extended their lead to 30-0 ten seconds into the fourth quarter as Hobby converted a 41 yard field goal culminating a 13 play 59 yard drive. West Chester finally got on the board after Maurice Garlic recovered a Matthew Ruggiero fumble and took it 83 yards for the score. It was simply too little too late as West Chester fell in this one 30-7.