SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Zach Zulli completed 26 of 35 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns to lead Shippensburg to a 38-28 win over Shepherd in the season opener for both teams Saturday at Seth Grove Stadium.
The Red Raiders snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Rams, improving to 5-10 in the series.
Shepherd took a 7-0 lead with 11:50 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard plunge by running back Kenny Williams.
Shippensburg answered with a 73-yard scoring strike from Zulli to Bryan Barley with 3:47 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7.
Shepherd took a 14-7 lead with 1:25 left in the quarter when quarterback Bobby Cooper teamed with William McKenzie on a 16-yard scoring pass.
The Red Raiders tied the game at 14-all when Zulli teamed with Trevor Harman on a 52-yard scoring pass with 10:40 left in the second quarter.
Shepherd retook the lead at 21-14 on a 3-yard run by Williams with 10:20 left in the second quarter. The score was set up by a 95-yard kickoff return by D.J. Scott.
Cooper fired a 27-yard scoring strike to Justin Ford as the Rams converted a fourth-and-15 play with 5:42 left in the half to give the Rams a 28-14 advantage.
Shippensburg cut the lead to 28-17 with 15 seconds left in the half on a 40-yard field goal by Michael Lloyd.
The Red Raiders opened the scoring in the second half on a 1-yard plunge by Kevin Herod with 9:27 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 28-24.
Zulli teamed with Jacob Baskerville on a 28-yard scoring pass with 7:05 left in the third quarter to give Shippensburg a 31-28 lead.
Shippensburg sealed the win when Zulli teamed with Harman on a 9-yard scoring pass with 3:35 left in the game.
Williams rushed for a game-high 64 yards on 13 carries for the Rams. Mike Frenette rushed 16 times for 41 yards to lead the Red Raiders.
Shippensburg rolled up 460 yards of total offense while limiting Shepherd to just 277 total offensive yards.
Cooper completed 20 of 35 passes for 229 yards for the Rams. Larry Lowe led the receivers with seven catches for 77 yards. Harman had six receptions for 105 yards for Shippensburg.
Linebacker A.J. Parrish led the Rams’ defense with a game-high 13 tackles, while defensive end Howard Jones added six tackles and three sacks for Shepherd.