The Golden Rams football team managed a 30-20 win over Indiana University of Pennsylvania Saturday, on a sunny afternoon at Farrell Stadium.The Rams first play from scrimmage was a 68-yard touchdown run from junior tailback Osagie Osunde which was eventually called back to the West Chester 44-yard-line for a holding penalty. The Rams completed the drive when junior quarterback Matt Burdalski hooked up with freshman wide receiver Mike Washington which gave the Rams first and goal from the 1-yard-line. Osunde leaped over the goal line, giving the Rams an early 7-0 lead. “It definitely helped us get our confidence up,” said Osunde. Penalties hurt the Rams in the contest, totaling 10 for 78 yards.
“We did a lot of good things but the mistakes stopped us,” said head coach Bill Zwaan. “As far as confidence goes, it wasn’t really down, we just need to get rid of the mistakes.”
Osunde added another 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter after another Burdalski-Walsh connection, this one bringing the Rams to the IUP 5-yard line. The durable Osunde finshed the game with a career high 182 yards on 26 carries.
The Rams defense kept pressure on freshman quarterback Andrew Krewatch, holding the Indians scoreless until the second quarter when the Indians recorded a 13-yard touchdown run. Replacement kicker Ivelin Penchev missed the extra point kick, leaving the Indians trailing by eight. Penchev, a junior on the track and field team, replaced injured place kicker Brad Whitacre. The kicking game was a factor for both teams. Zwaan started freshman Alex Walsh.
“We had a freshman kicker in who, in very crucial situations, came up big,” Zwaan said. Walsh tied a school record with three field goals in the game. Penchev’s inexperience hurt the Indians, as he later missed another extra point with 13:49 left in the 3rd quarter after a Chris Morgan 9-yard touchdown run. The extra point would have cut the Rams’ lead to seven points. Indians head coach Frank Cignetti opted out of a field goal attempt with 1:53 left in the 3rd and instead watched Krewatch overthrow freshman wide receiver Cameron Mobley to end the drive. The Indians never recovered and went scoreless again in the 4th.
Senior wide receiver Luther Bowen also recorded a circus-act touchdown catch from Burdalski with six seconds remaining before halftime. Burdalski went 15-for-25 in the contest with 231 yards. Sophmore linebacker Lateef Ferguson led the Rams defense with nine tackles, one fora loss of two yards. Senior defensive-lineman Jared Souders recored a sack for a loss of 9 yards.
Saturday’s win moves the Rams to 2-1 on the season and was their first over IUP since 1987. The Rams face the University of Deleware next Saturday. Kickoff in Newark is at 7 p.m.