Senior quarterback Bobby Cooper (Davidsonville, MD/South River) completed 27-of-38 passes for a school-record 430 yards and three touchdowns to lead Shepherd University to a 49-23 win over Fairmont State in WVIAC football action at Ram Stadium on Saturday. Shepherd clinched the
WVIAC title with the victory.
Fairmont State took a 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Johnny Dearstine with 10:00 left in the first quarter.
Shepherd answered back on a one-yard touchdown plunge by junior running back Jihad Rasheed (Detroit, MI/Southeastern/Michigan) with 5:34 left in the first quarter to a take a 7-3 lead. Redshirt-freshman kicker Ryan Earls (Stevensville, MD/Kent Island) added the extra point.
Freshman running back Allen Cross (Elkridge, MD/Long Reach) scored a three-yard run with 54 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Rams a 14-3 advantage.
The Falcons cut the lead to 14-10 when Bobby Vega connected with Kendrick Washington on a five-yard scoring pass with 12:59 left in the second quarter.
Fairmont State took a 16-14 lead when Vega teamed with Chris St. Hilaire on a six-yard scoring strike with 1:50 left in the second quarter. Sophomore defensive back David Carter (Winchester, VA/John Handley) blocked the extra point.
Rasheed scored a one-yard run with 58 seconds left in the half to give the Rams a 21-16 advantage.
The Rams took a 28-16 lead into intermission when Cooper teamed with freshman wide receiver Billy Brown (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg) on a 23-yard scoring strike with 18 seconds left in the half.
Cooper connected with junior wide receiver Trevor Turner (Hanover, MD/Meade/Rhode Island) on a 46-yard scoring strike with 8:10 left in the third quarter.
Cooper teamed with sophomore wide receiver Dalton Boyd (Winchester, VA/Sherando) on a 44-yard score with 56 seconds left in the third quarter to up the Shepherd lead to 42-16.
Cross added a two-yard scoring run with 8:18 left in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Pate teamed with Sean Marion on an 11-yard scoring pass with 2:25 left in the game to account for the final score.
Vega connected on 20-of-38 passes for 264 yards for the Falcons.
Senior wide receiver Larry Lowe (Stafford, VA/Brooke Point) led the Shepherd receiving corps with seven receptions for 117 yards. Brown added seven catches for 113 yards. Charaun Goodwin had seven grabs for a game-high 141 yards to lead Fairmont State.
Rasheed rushed 17 times for a game-high 95 yards to lead the Rams.Shepherd had 608 yards of total offense, while Fairmont State had 312. Shepherd limited the Falcons to minus 11 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Tolson (Forestville, MD/Central) had 10 tackles (eight solo), while senior linebacker A.J. Parrish (Madison Heights, VA/Amherst County) added eight stops (seven solo) to lead the Shepherd defense. Devin Cain and Nate Ingersoll each had 10 stops to pace the Pioneers.
Shepherd improves to 8-2, 7-1 in WVIAC play, while Glenville State falls to 4-6, 4-4. The Rams await word on postseason seeding .
Shepherd earned its 18th overall and 15th outright WVIAC football title. Both are league marks. Shepherd had two receivers with 100 receiving yards or more in the same game for the first time in program history. No team rushed for over 100 yards or more against the Rams this season.