Another Homecoming Weekend came and went and with it came a classic fall football game. On this sunny and almost perfect weather day, the Rams played host to Shippensburg in John A. Farrell Stadium. The last time these two teams tangoed, the Raiders dominated the matchup in a 34-18 victory on Oct. 9 2021. Unfortunately for the Rams, the outcome this week, while not as crushing, was equally deflating as the team suffered their third loss of the season.
Last season, the Rams were able to come away with Coach Zwann’s record-breaking victory on homecoming weekend which propelled him to the title of winningest head coach in program history, eclipsing legendary Coach Glenn Killinger. This season, however, the team collapsed late following an early lead.
After jumping to a 13-0 lead off a Ja’Den McKenzie rushing touchdown and a pair of field goals by kicker Sean Henry, the Rams were dominated in the second half of the game.
The Raiders blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown to gain momentum they would never surrender as they rallied for twenty second-half points. These were the first second-half points allowed by the Rams defense over the last three games.
Despite the 20-13 loss, several Rams had strong efforts statistically, especially on the offensive front. Quarterback Ethan Kohler tallied 328 passing yards on eighteen attempts – the most all season and the first time a quarterback has thrown for over 200 yards on the year. Wide receiver Rahiem Bowens caught five passes to the tune of 100 yards and McKenzie carried the ball 22 times for 81 yards and a score – his second most carries all year thus far. Linebacker Jackson Taylor led the defense with seven tackles while fellow linebacker Khalib Slaughter caught an interception.
West Chester now sits at 3-3 on the season. The Rams will visit East Stroudsburg next weekend in hopes of climbing above .500 in the win column.
Joseph Gill is a fourth-year English major with a minor in journalism. JG923276@wcupa.edu.