WCU hon­ors Dick Yoder

Legacy of for­mer West Ch­ester Mayor cel­e­brated at foot­ball game

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Neil Geoghe­gan ngeoghe­gan@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @NeilMGeoghe­gan on Twit­ter

The legacy of for­mer West Ch­ester Mayor Richard B. “Dick” Yoder was hon­ored at West Ch­ester Uni­ver­sity’s Far­rell Sta­dium with a spe­cial half­time event on Satur­day dur­ing the Golden Rams’ foot­ball game against the Ship­pens­burg Raiders. The event fea­tured the pre­sen­ta­tion of a check in the amount of $25,125.00 for the Richard B. Yoder ’59 Foot­ball Schol­ar­ship Fund. From left are: Zeb Daven­port, Jack and Kathy Yoder, Jean Yoder wife of Dick Yoder, Su­san and Rick Yoder, Sue Fiorentino and Mayor Carolyn Comitta. West Ch­ester de­feated Ship­pens­burg 31-15 in Satur­day’s game.

WEST GOSHEN >> It didn’t sur­prise head coach Bill Zwaan one bit, but on Satur­day he fi­nally got to see what his team can ac­tu­ally ac­com­plish with­out all of the self-in­flicted blun­ders that have marred the first month of the foot­ball sea­son.

The Golden Rams lim­ited the game-al­ter­ing turnovers and the de­mor­al­iz­ing penal­ties – par­tic­u­larly in a near flaw­less first half -- and pro­ceeded to clob­ber vis­it­ing Ship­pens­burg, 31-15, in a crit­i­cal PSAC East clash at Far­rell Sta­dium. With frus­trat­ing losses in two of its pre­vi­ous three out­ings, the Golden Rams took out an aw­ful lot of frus­tra­tion on the Red Raiders, who en­tered the day rid­ing a three-game win­ning streak and were in a three-way share of first place in the di­vi­sion (with Blooms­burg and Kutztown).

“We had some self-in­flicted wounds in the sec­ond half, and we weren’t the same team,” Zwaan said. “Sim­ply put, if we don’t turn it over and have the dumb penal­ties, then we are a re­ally good foot­ball team.”

Just one week after a life­less per­for­mance at Kutztown, WCU looked like the pre­sea­son fa­vorite in the PSAC East. Now 2-1 (3-3 over­all), the Rams are now back into the divi­sional race with a key

road con­test at Blooms­burg next on the docket.

“We are right back in it and now we have an­other big one next week­end,” Zwaan said. “We had to win this to make the next one im­por­tant.”

In what be­came a bat­tle of the backup quar­ter­backs, West Ch­ester’s Pat Mo­ri­arty clearly out-du­eled Ship­pens­burg’s Chase Yocum. Mo­ri­arty made his first start since the sea­son opener at Bent­ley when starter An­drew Derr was side­lined with the same right foot in­jury that kept him out of spring work­outs. Yocum played in place of Ryan Zapoticky (foot).

“I am thank­ful I got an­other shot,” said Mo­ri­arty, who re­called lay­ing an egg against the Raiders a sea­son ago. “I proved some peo­ple wrong, but I al­ways knew I could do it.

“I didn’t come here to be a backup, but to help us win cham­pi­onships, so that’s what I am go­ing to try to con­tinue to do.”

Mo­ri­arty or­ches­trated was an al­most sur­real first half, as West Ch­ester rolled up a 268-73 edge in to­tal yards, and built a 31-0 lead on the score­board. The Rams re­verted back to some old, trou­ble­some habits the rest of the way -in­clud­ing a fourth quar­ter fum­ble while on the doorstep of the Ship­pens­burg goal line – but the out­come was al­ready se­cured.

“It’s been a tough week for all of us. We talked all week that we need to have a big first half and we did.” said ju­nior wide­out Tyler Karpin­ski.

“Mis­takes have been the story all sea­son,” Mo­ri­arty added. “It all comes down to fo­cus. You have to treat ev­ery snap in prac­tice like it’s a cham­pi­onship game, or a do-or-die game like it was to­day.”

Mo­ri­arty -- along with run­ning back Jerel El­der and Karpin­ski -- were im­pact­ful of­fen­sive weapons dur­ing the stel­lar first half. Karpinksi hauled in a pair of scor­ing tosses from Mo­ri­arty, and set up an­other with a leap­ing grab that went for 48 yards.

“We talked to (Mo­ri­arty) about manag­ing the game, mak­ing the throws he can make and not turn­ing the ball over, and he did that and more,” Zwaan said. “He re­ally did a great job.”

With WCU cruis­ing 24-0 in the fi­nal minute of the first half fol­low­ing a pair of El­der TD runs and a ca­reer­long 42-yard Brendan Pauli­son field goal, the Rams suc­cess­fully ex­e­cuted what ap­peared to be an on­side kick. Re­cov­ered by Jarey El­der, Mo­ri­arty then hit Mar­cus Syd­nor for a 37-yarder to set up a short touch­down catch by Karpin­ski with 3.2 sec­onds on the clock.

“We were ac­tu­ally try­ing to squib-kick it and it hap­pened to hit one of their kids, and we wound up tak­ing ad­van­tage of it,” Zwaan ad­mit­ted. “It wasn’t planned, but you can say it was a great coaching move if you want.”

Karpin­ski fin­ished with a game-high seven catches for 103 yards, and El­der chipped in with 77 yards on the ground. Mo­ri­arty was 20-for-29 for 338 yards and –per­haps most im­por­tantly – zero in­ter­cep­tions.

“We haven’t got out and jumped on some­body like that in a long time,” Mo­ri­arty said.

“Pat played very well,” Karpin­ski added. “All of our re­ceivers know who­ever is in there at quar­ter­back, they are go­ing to get us the ball.”

De­fen­sively, the Rams lim­ited Ship­pens­burg (21, 4-2) to 253 to­tal yards, and the 53 plays were the run by the Raiders in head coach Mark Ma­ciejew­ski’s six-year’s at the helm.

“It was a great de­fen­sive ef­fort that gave us good field po­si­tion, we had some real nice catches and Pat did a nice job run­ning the of­fense,” Zwaan said.

“We had a lot of ad­ver­sity this week and our kids hung in there tough and got the job done. This was a must-win. We had to come out and play and ob­vi­ously in the first half, we were ready to go.”

NOTES » Satur­day was Dick Yoder Day at Far­rell Sta­dium. The for­mer WCU stu­dent-ath­lete, pro­fes­sor, coach and ad­min­is­tra­tor passed away on May 3. Nick­named ‘Mr. West Ch­ester,’ Yoder was also a twoterm mayor of West Ch­ester and re­cently served as color com­men­ta­tor on ra­dio broad­casts of Golden Rams foot­ball. In a very short pe­riod of time, over $25,000 has been raised for the Richard B. Yoder 1959 Foot­ball Schol­ar­ship to ben­e­fit fu­ture WCU foot­ball play­ers … All-Amer­i­can left tackle Doug Gilbert made the start even though he missed a big por­tion of last week’s clash at Kutztown with a knee sprain ... Fill­ing in for in­jured line­backer Ralph Reeves, sopho­more Steven Denby paced WCU with 11 tack­les, in­clud­ing a sack.

ANNE NEBORAK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

ANNE NEBORAK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Ch­ester run­ning Jarel El­der breat through hole against Ship­pens­burg on Satur­day. El­der ran for 77 yards and two touch­downs in the 31-15 vic­tory.

ANNE NEBORAK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Ch­ester quar­ter­back Pat Mo­ri­arty scans the field as he drops back to pass against Ship­pens­burg.

ANNE NEBORAK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Quar­ter­back Pat Mo­ri­arty scram­bles for West Ch­ester in the first half against Ship­pens­burg on Satur­day.

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