No. 14 West Chester will begin tough stretch on Saturday in Shippensburg

Matt Leon
October 03, 2019 - 1:41 pm
Bill Zwaan

West Chester University Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The West Chester University football team will hit the road this weekend for a Saturday afternoon matchup against Shippensburg.

The Golden Rams are 4-0 — 1-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East — and are now ranked 14th in the country in Division II. 

To this point this season, they have outscored their opponents 139-28. Last week, West Chester hammered Millersville at Farrell Stadium, 48-7.

"We were stressing that all week, to make sure our kids didn't take them likely," West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan said. "We came out of the locker room ready to play. We had a couple of big plays early, a nice fumble (recovery) on a punt return by them, and it gave us great field position, gave us a chance to put that second touchdown on the board and we got on a roll."

West Chester has been dominant so far this season, but as the schedule begins to turn up a notch, the Golden Rams are preparing to meet up with some of the tougher teams in the conference over the next month.

"The next five weeks are really going to make the difference in our season," Zwaan said. "We're coming in the way we want to. We wanted to get through these first four games and get better each week, as the young kids got some playing time and got a chance to see what it's like at this level. 

"We made good strides in those first four weeks, but now we're going to face the better part of our schedule, as far as from a competition standpoint. Now we have to stay healthy and have to play well week after week."

Shippensburg is 1-3 on the season — 1-0 PSAC East — but they are coming off an impressive 30-15 win over Bloomsburg. 

Zwaan said defense is key for his team in this match-up with the Red Raiders.

"With the way we're playing defense right now," he said, "we have to keep playing that way. If we don't turn the ball over and give Ship any good field position, I think that will be the big thing for us."

Last season, these two teams met in West Chester, where the Golden Rams pulled out a 28-21 decision.

Saturday's game in Shippensburg kicks off at 1 p.m.

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