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Too little, too late: Rams suffer rare home loss

September 14, 2008|By JOHN O'BRIEN

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Glenville State's football team has waited a long time to beat Shepherd on its own field, while Rams coach Monte Cater said he simply waited too long to prevent it from happening Saturday.

The Pioneers, behind Division I-transfer Jerry Seymour's 215 rushing yards and three touchdowns, became the first West Virginia Conference team to win at Ram Stadium since 2002 with a 21-14 victory. It was Glenville's first win here since 1995.

Cater said he should have abandoned a running game that averaged only 1.4 yards per carry earlier and let quarterback Tyler Lazear throw the ball more.

"It's a good football team. We knew that going in," said Cater, whose team lost to Glenville at Glenville last year.

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"We waited too long to go to the passing game. They were committed to stopping our running game. If anything is my fault, I should have gone to the passing game earlier."

Sophomore Jimmy Sutch was consistently stuffed as Glenville (2-1, 1-0) jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead. It was his fumble on the Pioneers' 36-yard line that led to the Pioneers' first touchdown, aided by 30 yards of personal-foul penalties after the fumble.

The Pioneers' drive eventually began at the Rams' 34, and Seymour scored on a 25-yard run with 8:18 left in the first quarter.

They went up 14-0 seven minutes later, when Seymour finished a nine-play, 83-yard drive with a 12-yard run. Seymour tried to leap over two Rams defenders at the goal line and was spun around like a helicopter when he was hit. He still landed on his feet in the end zone.

"He's as good a back as we're going to see," Cater said.

Seymour's 8.5 yards-per-carry average actually hurt his season average. He's now rushed 49 times for 454 yards this year.

Seymour twice rushed for 1,000 yards at Central Michigan. As a freshman in 2003, he was named to the Mid-American Conference's second team and promoted to first as a sophomore.

But he pleaded guilty to attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in 2006 and was sentenced to six months in jail. He had previously spent a month in jail after being found in contempt for lying to a grand jury in 2005.

Later that year, he was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and perjury in the death of DeMarcus Graham. Graham was beaten to death by a group of individuals in 2004 outside a nightclub.

Seymour had 170 yards and a touchdown in last year's 24-13 win over the Rams, in which Glenville led 24-7 at halftime.

"It was a lot like last year," Cater said. "We let them go ahead and get up on us. We didn't have enough time to get back."

Seymour's 46-yard run on the first drive of the second half made it 21-0, but Shepherd responded with Michael Johnson's 2-yard touchdown run.

The Rams had a chance to cut it closer with 6:34 left in the game, but officials decided not to call pass interference on R.J. Suttles. He was defending Gordy Newsome on a fourth-and-6 from the Pioneers' 15 and initially drew a flag when Newsome was forced out of bounds on a jump ball in the end zone.

Officials, though, picked up the flag.

"We can't comment on a bad call or more than one," Cater said.

Shepherd got a 62-yard touchdown pass from Lazear to Raymond Mends with 2:56 left, but had no timeouts left and did not get the ball back until 16 seconds were left on its own 26. Nikkolai Norrell was tackled inbounds on a hook-and-lateral play, ending the game.

Lazear completed 17 of 25 passes for 292 yards but was sacked four times. Sutch rushed 12 times for 21 yards, while Lazear had minus-six yards on seven carries. The Rams rushed 27 times for 37 yards.

"We lost to a pretty good football team," Cater said. "(Losing at home) doesn't happen a lot."

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