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Rams win game for record books

October 28, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - On a Homecoming Saturday filled with special numbers - 105, 6,781, 62 and 137 - the two most important numbers were also the two most prominent ones on the Rams' scoreboard.

Monte Cater became the schools' all-time winningest coach, Joel Gordon claimed the all-time marks for passing yardage and touchdowns, and Kevin Burkey set the West Virginia Conference record for career extra points as Shepherd knocked off rival Glenville State 35-21 to earn a share of second place in the conference.

"(Breaking the record) probably couldn't have come at a better time," A gatorade-soaked Cater, now with 105 victories at Shepherd, said. "We're playing against a rival, and there's always something important on the line. It always feels good to get the records in games like this.

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"It was a great day," said Gordon, who now has 6,781 yards passing and 62 TD passes in his career. "I couldn't pick a better day for all the marks to be broken."

Most of the records were set in one memorable drive. Holding a 7-0 lead, the Rams started their second possession of the first quarter on its own 40-yard line. A 30-yard swing pass from Gordon to Michael Walker down to the Glenville 25 gave Gordon the career yardage mark. Later, Gordon found Jamal Gardner on a double move to the right side of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown for the school TD mark.

Burkey's extra point gave him 133 in his career, breaking the conference mark. Burkey would add four more.

Gordon had his best performance since the opening game against Shippensburg, completing 16 of 25 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns - the second on a 40-yard deep post to Jesse Correll that gave Shepherd a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter.

"(Glenville) ruined our season last year, and whether anyone would talk about it or not, that was hanging over our heads," Gordon said about last year's 28-21 loss that spoiled a 6-0 start for Shepherd. "We just wanted to come out and win. It's Homecoming, and they're our biggest rival for the last three or four years in the conference."

While the focus was on Cater and Gordon for most of the afternoon, running backs Alex Herbert and Walker stole the show and were the driving force in the Rams' victory.

Herbert rushed 26 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns, while Walker added 129 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown as Shepherd rushed for 301 yards while holding Glenville (3-5, 2-2) to 50.

"It's more of a rhythm thing," said Herbert, who has 327 yards in the last two games. "After Travis went down, we were a little shaky. Before, we rotated in play by play, and now we're taking it series by series."

"It's the confidence of the guys up front, the fullback and the guys running the ball," Cater said. "The fact that they have confidence, you can see it when they touch the ball."

Glenville quarterback Joey Conrad completed 31 of 52 passes for 358 yards and three touchdowns. most of it coming out of the shotgun formation with his team already down a pair of touchdowns and trying to get back in the game.

"I think when they got behind, they started to throw it, and I was worried they'd get momentum," Cater said. "(But) we were always up by 14 or 21 points, and they were always having to play from behind. They had to chase us."

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