West Chester University Football (8-2, 6-1 PSAC) claimed the PSAC East with a 27-24 win over Millersville, and now the Golden Rams will square off against IUP next Saturday in the PSAC Championship game here at WCU.
This is WCU’s second PSAC East title in three years.
West Chester was led by Jarel Elder, who rushed for 85 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Elder’s 85-yard day put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. In addition to his work on the ground Elder caught three passes for 40 yards and racked up 41 yards worth of kick returns, bringing his total yardage on the day to 166.
Quarterback Paul Dooley had a solid afternoon, going 15-30 and throwing for 238 yards and one touchdown. Dooley also picked up 81 yards on the ground across nine carries. Dooley’s lone touchdown pass on the afternoon was caught by Dan Neuhaus, who ended the victory with three receptions and 85 yards.
Rasheem James caught a team-high five passes for 82 yards as well.
It was a back-and-forth affair between the Golden Rams and Marauders, as the game hung in the balance with a little over a minute left. West Chester capped off a seven-play, 90-yard drive with 1:18 left to take a slim 24-20 lead, and WCU’s stout defense prevented Millersville from scoring, ending their potential game-winning drive prematurely thanks to an interception by Rashee Davis.
WCU’s defensive attack was pioneered by George Shipp, who finished with nine tackles, including four for a loss of 22 yards. Shipp also recorded 2.5 sacks for 20 yards, and was joined by Diquan Gilbert (1.5 sacks, six yards) as the only players to get to the quarterback in the win. Jaishan Thornton tied Shipp’s team-high nine tackles with nine of his own. The nine tackles set a new career-high for Thornton.
WCU will host IUP on Saturday in the PSAC Championship game. The time of the contest is to be determined, but this marks the first match-up between West Chester and IUP since 2014, when the Golden Rams prevailed 28-17.
B.J. is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at WB806695@wcupa.edu.