The West Chester University football team traveled to the University of Delaware Saturday night to renew their rivalry with the Fighting Blue Hens. The University of Delaware proved victorious by defeating the Golden Rams 42-21.Regardless of the loss, the Golden Rams did have a solid showing at Delaware by scoring the most points against the Fighting Blue Hens since a 42-21 lost in 1998. Overall, the Golden Rams were also able to tally scoring drives of 45, 69 and 80 yards during the game, and were even able to keep the Fighting Blue Hens at a 7-7 tie during the opening quarter.
The Golden Rams are 6-39-2 all-time vs. the Fighting Blue Hens. WCU was looking for their first victory over Delaware in 13 years. Delaware has been victorious in the last 11 games against WCU. The Golden Ram’s last victory came on September 26, 1992.
This week, No. 23 Golden Rams were just coming off of a 30-20 over IUP the previous Saturday, while the No. 6 Fighting Blue Hens had just barely edged Lehigh 35-34 in overtime. This loss drops the Golden Rams to 2-2 on the season, while improving the Fighting Blue Hens to 2-0.
On Saturday, the Fighting Blue Hens were able to drive 78-yards on the first drive of the game. They took the lead, 7-0, on a two-yard run with 9:10 to go in the first quarter. The Golden Rams were able to counter as freshman Michael Washington ran in a 20-yard scoring pass from junior Matt Burdaleski with only 54 seconds let in the first quarter.
The second quarter, however, proved fatal to the valiant Golden Rams. Delaware tallied 21 points in the second quarter alone, pretty much putting the game in the bag for the Fighting Blue Hens.
The Fighting Blue Hens were able to score on a one-yard run on the first play in the second quarter. In the middle of the quarter they were able to attack again, and this time they scored on a 25-yard run. Their last score came with just 1:09 left in the half, and put the score at 28-7.
The Fighting Blue Hens then increased their lead to 35-7 midway through the third quarter asthey connected on a three-yard run.
The Golden Rams started to come back during the second quarter with two scores. Washington scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from sophomore BillZwaan Jr., son of head coach,Bill Zwaan, with 10:44 left in thegame. With just 1:01 to go, freshman Patrick McDermott scored on a two-yard run. Ironically, Zwaan’s first career touchdown came on the same field where hisfather lead Delaware to a National Championship game in 1974 as their quarterback.
Sophomore Jimmy Lewis of WCU, a native of Delaware, lead the Golden Rams defensively,posting a team high of nine tackles, including two sacks and four tackles for loss.
Despite the setback, many of the Golden Rams had strongshowings, just not enough to edge out the Fighting Blue Hens. Junior Brent Steinmetz started as tailback on Saturday night after WCU lost junior Osagie Osunde for the season with an injury.
Steinmentz, a University of Delaware transfer, tallied 93 rushing yards over 24 carries, caught five passes for 45-yards, and finished the game with 130 all-purpose yards.
Burdaleski connected on 18 of 41 pass attempts for 207 yards, producing one score to Washington at the end of the first quarter.
Zwaan connected on all four of his pass attempts for 48 yards, including one 16-yard score toWashington in the fourth quarter. Senior Luther Bowen captured four passes for 42-yards and Mc-Dermott ran five times for a total of 22 yards, including his first career touchdown.
Senior captain Brandon Simmons tallied five kick returns for 87-yards to finish the night with 105 all-purpose yards.
Freshman Tyler Downes captured the first interceptionof his career Saturday night after picking off a pass in the end zone, killing a Delaware drive. WCU proceed to march down the field 80-yards for a touchdown. Downes finished with five solo tackles and one assist.
After a valiant effort against their rivals, WCU will host another rival, Cheyney University, on Saturday, September 24 in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division opener for both teams. Kickoff is at 7 pm in Farrel Stadium.