Courtesy of Shepherd Athletics
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va.
-- Shepherd University staged a furious second half comeback to rally for a 53-38 win over West Liberty in WVIAC football action at Russek Field on Saturday. The Shepherd win gave head coach Monte Cater his 200th career victory.
The Rams took a 7-0 lead when junior running back Nate Hoyte (Waldorf, MD/McDonough) raced 11 yards for a score with 7:19 remaining in the first quarter to cap a six-play, 82 yard drive. Junior kicker Eric Dobratz (Woodbridge, VA/Potomac) added the extra point.
West Liberty answered back when Zach Amedro ran into the end zone from 10 yards out with 3:38 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7.
The Hilltoppers took a 14-7 lead with 12:28 left in the second quarter when Amedro teamed with Jermaine Carter on a two-yard scoring pass.
West Liberty increased its lead to 21-7 when Amedro connected with Ryan Travis on a 14-yard scoring strike with 6:48 left in the second quarter.
The Hilltoppers took a 28-7 lead when Amedro and Travis teamed on a seven-yard scoring pass with 3:28 left in the half.
Clancy and Jones collaborated a 15-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 35-20 with 9:45 left in the third quarter.
Shepherd cut the lead to 28-13 when senior quarterback Kevin Clancy (Westminster, MD/Westminster) teamed with senior tight end Dominique Jones (San Diego, CA/Horizon/Liberty) on a one-yard touchdown pass with 2:05 left in the half. Shepherd had a mishandled snap on the point after attempt.
West Liberty extended its lead to 35-13 when Amedro teamed with Travis on a 24-yard score with10:28 left in the third quarter.
Shepherd trimmed the West Liberty lead to 35-27 when senior return specialist Deante Steele (Woodbridge, VA/Potomac) went 52 yards for a touchdown with 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Rams battled back to tie the game at 35-35 when sophomore defensive back Keon Robinson (Fairfax Station, VA/Lake Braddock) picked off an Amedro pass and weaved through West Liberty for an 88-yard touchdown return with three seconds left in the third quarter. Clancy teamed with senior fullback Bobby Humphries (Frederick, MD/Thomas Johnson) on the two-point conversion.
Shepherd took a 38-35 lead with 13:02 left in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Dobratz. The score was set up by a fumble recovery by Steele.
The Rams increased their lead to 45-35 when sophomore free safety Corey Washington (Alexandria, VA/Edison) picked up a Brandon Carver fumble that was forced by senior linebacker Brian Taylor (Elkridge, MD/Long Reach) and sprinted 27 yards for a touchdown.
Mike Blewett kicked a 27-yard field goal with 9:36 remaining to cut the deficit to 45-38.
The Rams sealed the win when junior running back Tommy Addison (Germantown, MD/Quince Orchard) ran 44 yards for a touchdown with 3:51 left in the game. Sophomore tight end John Frick (Greencastle, PA/ Greencastle-Antrim) picked up a blocked extra point and ran in for two points.
Clancy completed 17-of-32 passes for 283 yards. Amedro connected on 43-of-62 passes for 474 yards for the Hilltoppers.
Addison rushed for 85 yards on 15 carries, while Kevon Calhoun had 96 yards on 19 carries for West Liberty.
West Liberty had 621 yards of total offense in the game while Shepherd had 399.
Junior wide receiver Neal Hardie (Alexandria, VA/West Potomac) had three catches for 112 yards to pace the Rams. Jermaine Carter had 13 receptions for 167 yards and Travis had 12 catches for 112 yards to lead the Hilltoppers.
Sophomore linebacker A.J. Parrish (Madison Heights, VA/Amherst County) led the Ram defense with nine tackles. Clay Beeler had five stops for the Hilltoppers.
Shepherd improves to 8-0, 6-0 in WVIAC play, while West Liberty falls to 4-3, 3-2.
The Rams return to action next Saturday when they travel to West Virginia State for a 1 p.m. contest.