Shepherd marches over Hill

September 30, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - As he approaches "midterm" of his senior year on the Shepherd University football team, Dervon Wallace says his list of goals is starting to take shape.

After posting 183 yards of total offense in Saturday's convincing 44-6 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over Seton Hill at Ram Stadium, the diminutive Wallace looks forward to the remainder of the season.

"We had a little chip on our shoulder, the fact they beat Glenville State and we lost to (Glenville)," Wallace said of outmanned Seton Hill. "I think we showed folks today we're not going anywhere. We have a good team and we have worked hard to get to this point."

Thanks to an aggresssive running attack led by Wallace, the passing of Tyler Lazear and Brett Zirkle and a rugged defense which forced six turnovers (four interceptions and two fumbles), Shepherd was in command for much of the afternoon in improving its overall record to 4-1 and conference mark to 2-1.


"Team goals come first," Wallace said. "We want to win the conference and advance to the playoffs. But let's take one step at a time. Winning will take care of everything."

Personally, Wallace would like to reach 2,000 yards rushing this year.

"As long as I've been playing football, I've never gained 2,000 yards in a season. That would be nice," Wallace said.

After gaining 148 yards on 28 carries Saturday - and adding a touchdown and five receptions for 35 yards - Wallace now has 3,455 career rushing yards, including 766 yards in five games this season.

Wallace's total moves him past Alex Herbert (3,447) on Shepherd's all-time list.

Shepherd gained 456 yards of total offense, and coach Monte Cater said the Rams followed the game plan to a T.

"We wanted to come out and establish the run and we did just that," Cater said. "As we continued to move the ball off tackle, it opened up our passing game and Tyler (Lazear) and Brett (Zirkle) did a nice job of hitting the receivers."

Shepherd linebacker Louis Corum intercepted Matt Dowdell's first pass of the game and the rout was on.

Wallace's 2-yard touchdown run and Bryan Beverage's extra point conversion with 13:58 left in the first quarter gave Shepherd a quick 7-0 advantage.

Seton Hill (1-3, 1-1) retaliated at the 14:46 mark of the second quarter when Dowdell hit receiver Samuel Franks from 17 yards. It was all downhill from there after a bad snap on the extra point created a 7-6 deficit.

Lazear completed 14-of-23 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown and also carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards and a touchdown. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by Zirkle, who passed to Nikkolai Norell for a TD.

Bobby Humpries and Raymond Mends added touchdowns for Shepherd, while Beverage added a 19-yard field goal and strong safety Jerome Quinata returned an intercpetion 89 yards for a score.

"I thought, overall, we played well," Cater said.

RAMBLINGS: The win coluld have been costly for Shepherd. Senior center Ryan Pope suffered a severe sprained ankle in the first quarter, and right guard Campbell Martens left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. "It's too early to say whether they'll be ready for next week," Cater said. Pope returned to action in the second and third quarters. "We used two backup centers and they had trouble with the snaps," Cater said. ... Former St. James standout Jimmy Sutch saw action on special teams and as a running back. He carried the ball six times for 26 yards and also caught a 6-yard pass.

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