Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

With their undefeated streak still in tact, the No. 10 West Chester Golden Rams defeated Cheyney University with a punishing score of 66-14.
While Cheyney has yet to find a win this season, the Golden Rams’ victory marks their ninth in a row. It is the first time West Chester has opened up a season 9-0 since 1967.
With starting quarterback Sean McCartney resting so he can return next week against a more formidable opponent, Andrew Derr, a redshirt freshman, was given the opportunity to start against the Wolves. Derr more than proved he was capable of taking over this offense if needed, going 13-for-23 and gaining 293 yards and three touchdowns on the day.
After looking great against Shippensburg last week, Derr has truly caught people’s attention now with his second consecutive strong outing on the football field. He may be young, but Derr is showing a great vision for the field, and has a cannon arm to boot. For how little completions he had on the day against Cheyney, Derr made their defense pay, hitting receivers down the field with ease. In time, Derr will take over this team as the starting quarterback, leaving the Golden Rams in very capable hands when that time comes.
Runninga the ball against Cheyney was a highlight of the game for West Chester, as multiple ball carriers had solid days on the ground for the Golden Rams. Leading the way was starting running back Rondell White, who rushed 22 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns. White also caught four balls for 55 yards, with one of those catches going for 47 yards. White also had two kickoff returns for 34 yards as well.
Fellow running backs Brandon Monk and Eddie Elliott also made the most of their opportunities. Monk took six carries for a staggering 71 yards and a touchdown. Not to be outdone, Eddie Elliott took four carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. Elliott also managed to reel in three catches for 54 yards. Fullback Jared Bonacquisti was able to find the end zone, taking a one-yard run in for a touchdown.
As proven throughout his illustrious career, White is an unstoppable force on the field in all parts of the game. Whether he’s running the ball or catching the ball, White always manages to create yards and help this team win week in and week out. What we do not see much, though, are White’s backups carrying the ball, but when they do, they always capitalize on their given moments. Monk and Elliott have outstanding speed and reliable hands, and could absolutely help this team if ever put in the starting position. These three running backs are helping pave the way for one of the greatest seasons West Chester has ever had.
The wide receivers of West Chester also had a spectacular day on the football field against Cheyney. Leading the team in catches, yards, and touchdowns this week was Erik Brundidge, who finished the day with four catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns in what was his best game of the season thus far. Adam Dempsey continued his solid season, catching two passes from Derr for 57 yards. Tim Keyser also had two catches for 27 yards, taking one of them in for a touchdown.
This was a great game for the Golden Rams receiving core to display their talents and help bring home a win. Brundidge, who has not had too many big games this season, was on fire all afternoon, had his touchdown catches go for 67 yards and 25 yards respectively, proving once again his playmaking abilities on the field. Expect the wide receivers to play a vital role in the next few games as West Chester’s season begins to come to an end.
West Chester allowed Cheyney University only 14 points compared to their 66, meaning the defense was superb throughout the contest. The Rams let Cheyney quarterback Alder Thony complete only 12 of his 31 passes for 171 yards, picking him off twice as well.
There were many stars on the day for this defense, with defensive linemen Chris DiValentino leading the way in tackles with five, all of which were solo. DiValentino also had two sacks and a forced fumble on the day, destroying Cheyney’s offense as they tried to keep up with the Golden Rams.
Fellow defensive linemen Demrick Cook also had one of the best games of his career. Cook totaled four tackles (three solo, one assisted), three of which went for a loss of 10 yards. Cook also had a sack and an interception that went for 28 yards. For a defensive lineman, interceptions are hard to come by, but Cook was able to take his farther than expected.
Shaquil Ryder, another defensive linemen for the Golden Rams, had West Chester’s other interception against Thony and company. Ryder finished his day with one solo tackle and his pick going for 18 yards.
Other notable players on West Chester’s defense were Mike Culbreath, Kavon Johnson and Drew Persa. Culbreath had four tackles on the day (three solo, one assisted), as well as a sack and a pass breakup. Kavon Johnson, a redshirt freshman, had just one tackle, but made it count by converting it for a sack against Thony. Finally, Persa had just one tackle, but was also able to pick up a fumble recovery and take it back to the end zone for 13 yards and yet another West Chester score.
“Thus far the season is going well as planned,” linebacker Ronnell Williams said after the game. “Personally, I would like to force more turnovers and score. I would like to win out the rest of the season, win the PSAC Championship, followed by a national championship and to stay healthy as well.”
This was exactly the type of game the West Chester defense needed to have going into their toughest test yet of the season. The Rams did not allow any of Cheyney’s receivers to go for over 100 yards on the day, and constantly made game-changing plays against the Wolves. This confidence should carry over to next Saturday, where they come back home to John A. Farrell Stadium after three consecutive away games to take one of their biggest rivals: Bloomsburg.
No. 6 Bloomsburg has had a great season, going 8-1 on the season thus far (their only loss coming at the hands of Shippensburg, who were defeated by West Chester just a week ago). The winner of the Rams vs. the Huskies will get a berth into the PSAC Championship Game in its home stadium on Nov. 16. With the Rams finally returning home for Veteran’s Appreciation Day and facing one of their toughest rivals, the stands should be packed in purple and gold for what is sure to be a day to remember at John A. Farrell Stadium.
Oliver Suskin-Santarelli is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at OS753461@wcupa.edu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.