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He just keeps going and going ...

Shepherd's Wallace churns out yards, touchdowns to power Rams

Shepherd's Wallace churns out yards, touchdowns to power Rams

November 02, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherd University running back Dervon Wallace is like the Energizer Bunny - he keeps going and going and going.

Minutes after leading the Rams to an important 38-21 West Virginia Conference win over West Liberty last Saturday at Ram Stadium, the 5-foot-6, 177-pound senior was ready for more action.

"Bring 'em on. I'd play tomorrow if I had to," Wallace smiled when sprinting off the muddy playing field and into the locker room.

"Tomorrow" is quickly approaching.

Shepherd (8-1, 6-1) hosts West Virginia State (6-2, 4-2) on Saturday, and a victory would ensure the Rams another WVIAC championship.

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"He's durable, to say the least," Shepherd coach Monte Cater said. "He has really been a workhorse, especially the last two games. Field conditions don't seem to affect him. He's as tough on a muddy surface as he is on a dry surface. He doesn't seem to lose any elusiveness on a muddy field."

Cater said an aggressive ground game, anchored by Wallace, is a key ingredient in another successful season.

"If you can establish a ground game, it really opens up the offense," Cater said. "Although the opponents key on Dervon, he still has been able to rack up the yardage. He has tremendous footwork, can dash left and right, but also get the job done off tackle."

Even as the 10th game of the regular season approaches, the diminutive Wallace shows little wear and tear.

The running back seems to get better with age. In the last two weeks, he has accumulated impressive statistics.

Wallace was named WVIAC Offensive Player of the Week for his outstanding play against West Liberty when he rushed 37 times for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

The Harlon Hill candidate has rushed for 584 yards and six touchdowns in the last two games. His 1,641 rush yards currently lead NCAA Division II and is the fourth-highest single-season total in WVIAC history.

He has scored 16 touchdowns this season, yet he shuns the spotlight.

"Give all the credit to the offensive line. They have had a great season," Wallace said. "They open the holes and I run the ball."

Cater will need another solid effort from Wallace and his teammates on Saturday. West Virginia State can pull even in the loss column of the WVIAC standings with a victory.

Shepherd leads the series 27-3 and can clinch at least a tie for the conference crown with a win, which also would strengthen the Rams' chances of hosting a playoff contest. Shepherd is ranked third in the latest Northeast Region rankings.

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