Wallace runs for 280 as Shepherd rolls

October 28, 2007|By Larry Yanos

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. - Shepherd University remained atop the West Virginia Conference standings Saturday with a 38-21 win over West Liberty at Ram Stadium.

Senior Dervon Wallace scored three touchdowns and rushed for 280 yards in the penalty-filled contest for the Rams (9-1, 8-1), who can claim the conference title by defeating visiting West Virginia State next Saturday.

Officials assessed 18 penalties on the teams for 161 yards.

In between flags, the teams moved the football. Shepherd had 461 yards of total offense to 412 yards for West Liberty.

"It sounds like a broken record, but we were again able to establish the running game and that's so important. It opens up the offense," Shepherd coach Monte Cater said. "We knew the importance of controlling the football against a team like West Liberty. They put points on the board and put them on very quickly."


The Hilltoppers (6-3, 4-2) entered the contest with a conference-leading 39.2 points-per-game average on offense, but Shepherd (second with a 33.6 average) jumped out to a 17-0 first-half advantage and matched points with the visitors in the second half, led by Wallace.

"Dervon was Dervon, what can I say?" Cater said. "He's been doing this game in and game out. He's a tremendous runner. The opponents key on him, but he finds a way to get it done."

Wallace scored three touchdowns amidst his 37 carries. Cater was pleased with the balanced offensive attack, as well as an aggressive defense which made seven sacks.

"They put one (touchdown) on the board late in the fourth quarter, but our defense played great," Cater said.

"Mike Spiegelberg was outstanding but the entire group held them in check. It was a tremendous effort, defensively," Cater said.

The five touchowns were recorded by three different players and kicker Bryan Beverage added a 24-yard second-quarter field goal to go along with his six extra points.

Shepherd set the tempo in the first five minutes of the game when Nasser Muhammad grabbed a 31-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Tyler Lazear.

Three minutes later, Wallace scampered 86 yards for another score and Shepherd finished off the first half scoring with a Beverage field goal and a Ryan Lavin 33-yard scoring pass from Lazear.

As usual, Wallace put on quite a show.

He leads the WVIAC in rushing yards (1,641) and touchdowns (16), but recognized his teammates after the game.

"The offensive line, they make it happen," Wallace said. "We're very strong up front, they open the holes and I'm able to run. Also, the defense and special teams have had good seasons. We're all in this together. We want to continue winning and advance (to the playoffs). This was a big game, but all of our remaining games are big."

Even in defeat, West Liberty quarterback Zach Amedro had a tremendous effort. He completed 37 of 57 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

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