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.


"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."

The Herald-Mail Articles