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No. 5 Rams shut down Concord

October 22, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - What better way is there to celebrate Homecoming on a sunny afternoon than with a victory?

With a shutout, of course.

For the fifth time this season, No. 5 Shepherd University kept the opponent's side of the scoreboard locked down at zero as the Rams completely shackled Concord University 42-0 on Saturday at Ram Stadium.

With their third straight shutout, the Rams (7-0, 4-0 WVIAC) tied a school record for shutouts in one season and lowered their national leadership in scoring defense to 1.8 points per game.

"We don't want nobody to score on us," said sophomore inside linebacker Louis Corum. "In our heads, we know this can be a school-record year for us on defense."

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Two of Corum's team-leading 5.5 tackles were crunching hits at the line of scrimmage that helped send a message to Concord University (3-5, 3-3) that the Mountain Lions were in for a tough day.

"Our defensive line has worked their butts off," said Corum. "They work hard in practice and that makes it easier for us as linebackers to see the opponent."

The Rams held Concord to 106 yards of total offense, including a mere 23 on the ground.

"The defensive line is keeping the opponents off our linebackers and that is important," said Shepherd coach Monte Cater. "It's getting personal with these guys that they want to have goose eggs on the scoreboard."

Concord played right into the hands of Shepherd at the outset, botching a punt setup on a bad snap that left the Rams in business at the Mountain Lions' 5-yard line. Immediately, Dervon Wallace scampered on a sweep right and the Rams were up 7-0 with the game just three minutes old.

On its next possession, Concord gained two first downs but Shepherd stiffened, forcing a punt. The Rams couldn't move offensively in three plays and hemmed on their own 20, and Ricky Schmitt unloaded a booming 77-yard punt without any aid of the wind.

Four plays later, Shepherd's Ayo Ijelu intercepted a Rusty Coeburn pass and the Rams began an eight-play, 45-yard march topped off when quarterback Dan Chlebowski scored on a bootleg play from 2 yards.

From there, Shepherd controlled the clock with its offense, thanks to the defense making quick work of the Mountain Lions.

A 12-play, 81-yard drive culminated with a 6-yard TD run by Wallace in the second quarter. The Rams went to the lockers with a 28-0 lead after Tyler Lazear found Mark Springirth from 28 yards to finish off an eight-play, 63-yard drive.

Two more TDs were piled up in the third quarter when Wallace scored from the 2-yard line and backup Vincent Riggs scored from the 1.

"I think the kids realized they had to have an offensive effort," said Cater. "They were due."

Chlebowski, a Greencastle-Antrim grad, hit 9-of-11 for 98 yards and Lazear came in and hit 7-of-10 for 68 yards.

"(Dan) played as a leader today and threw the ball better and (Lazear) got in some good action," said Cater.

Shepherd controlled the clock for 38:54 and piled up 393 yards total offense.

Wallace had his rushed for more than 100 yards for the 13th time in his career as he racked up 107 on 18 carries.

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