West Chester University Football (7-2, 5-1 PSAC) bested East Stroudsburg University (2-7, 1-5 PSAC) 31-26 on what was Homecoming for the Golden Rams, marking the sixth win in seven games for WCU. The win keeps the Golden Rams in a tie with Shippensburg, who defeated Kutztown on Saturday afternoon, for first place in the PSAC.
West Chester was led by Jarel Elder, who racked up 255 all-purpose yards, 131 which came via the ground. Elder notched a rushing touchdown on the Golden Rams’ first drive of the contest.
WCU was in danger of squandering a 22-point lead as East Stroudsburg scored 20 unanswered points in the final frame to put themselves within striking distance, but David Simmons was able to put pressure on ESU quarterback Ben Moser and bring him down at the Golden Rams’ 40-yard line to secure the win and avoid a major meltdown.
Golden Rams quarterback Paul Dooley ended the afternoon with 166 yards and one touchdown on 14-24, and he picked up an additional 106 yards (career-high) and two scores on the ground across 14 attempts.
Elder and Dooley joined rarified air with their ground performances, becoming the first duo to rush for over 100 yards in a game since Brandon Monk and Eddie Elliott in a 2014 playoff game.
Defensively West Chester recorded three sacks, with Tyler Morrissey (one sack, four yards), Simmons (one sack, two yards), Nate Barnes (0.5 sacks, three yards) and Diquan Gilbert (0.5 sacks, two yards) all able to bring down Moser. All of the aforementioned players also recorded a tackle for a loss.
WCU has two games remaining on the regular season, and will travel to Millersville to square off with the Marauders (4-5, 3-3 PSAC) before returning home for a season-finale with Clarion University (1-8, 1-5 PSAC).
If West Chester defeats Millersville this weekend they will clinch at least a share of the PSAC East title and will be State Game bound as the Eastern Division representative. The State Game is slated to take place Saturday, Nov. 11.
B.J. is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at WB806695@wcupa.edu.