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WCU Football ends regular season in nail-biter victory

The Golden Rams went into battle at John A. Farrell one last time for the regular season against the California Vulcans. The Rams started cold on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, being held to just a field goal and giving up a one yard touchdown run on defense to put the Vulcans up 7-3 in the first quarter.

Defensive struggles continued in the second quarter after a missed tackle on a 5 yard Vulcans pass led to an explosive 44 yard touchdown run into the endzone to put the Vulcans up 13-3. However, when the Rams got knocked down, they did not stay down for long. In a clutch two minute drill performance senior quarterback Paul Dooley found junior tight end Dan Neuhaus in the back of the endzone to put the score at 13-10 going into halftime.

In the second half, the Rams got the ball back and kept their fiery momentum going. The offense took the aggressiveness up a notch when coach Bill Zwann opted out of a 50-yard field goal and went for it on fourth down. The gamble paid off as Dooley connected with Edelin to move the chains. Two plays later, Dooley found Neuhaus once again down the seam for a wide open touchdown pass. The Rams regained the lead 17-13 in the middle of the third quarter.

When the team needed the Rams’ defense the most, they answered … WCU denied the two point conversion and pulled out the victory.

Defense then took the torch and ran with it. After being backed up in their own territory, sophomore linebacker Jackson Taylor forced a fumble that would then be recovered by the All-American safety, Jarey Elder. A few drives later, the defense showed perseverance once again after forcing a turnover on downs in their own territory at the end of the third.

After the Rams extended the lead to 20-13 with a late game field goal, the Vulcans were quickly putting together a drive to take back the lead in the final seconds of the game. The Vulcans’ offense managed to work their way down into the red zone, and with six seconds left in the game, a diving touchdown catch in the back corner of the endzone put the Vulcans in position to tie it up. However, with the momentum on their side and the defense of their heels, California decided to put the nail in the coffin and go for the two point conversion to win the game. But when the team needed the Rams’ defense the most, they answered. The West Chester defense denied the Vulcans of the two point conversion and pulled out the victory 20-19.

Not only does this win end the regular season on a good note, but it punches the ticket for the postseason. With this win, it is very possible we can see the Rams dancing their way into the NCAA tournament.

Juche Jackson is a fourth-year student majoring in communications.

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