West Chester jumps out fast to rout Edinboro
WEST GOSHEN » With last year’s double overtime stunner at Edinboro still fresh, and last week’s similar setback at Slippery Rock still difficult to digest, the West Chester football squad took more than a little frustration out on the Fighting Scots on Saturday at Farrell Stadium.
The Golden Rams had 34 points before Edinboro had two first downs, and rode a historically productive first half into a convincing 62-28 PSAC crossover triumph. West Chester’s 48 first half points were the most the Scots have allowed in a half in 91 years of football. And the total was the most WCU’s scored since 2014.
“We wanted to hand it to them, pretty much,” admitted linebacker Kevin Duggan.
“We were ready to go,” added wideout Tyler Karpinksi. “We had a slow start last weekend and we wanted to get a little revenge on Edinboro.”
Senior runner Jarel Elder found the end zone three times for WCU, and quarterback Paul Dooley threw for three touchdowns, including a pair to Karpinski. And unlike a week ago at Slippery Rock, the WCU defense had an early impact with a picksix and a forced fumble that led to another TD.
“After last week and last year, I
wanted our guys to understand that (Edinboro) is a good team and we need to jump on top and keep going after them,” said West Chester head coach Bill Zwaan. “(Edinboro’s) offense can score, so we knew we couldn’t afford to get complacent.”
Now 2-1 overall, the Rams travel to Lock Haven next weekend to open PSAC East play against the Bald Eagles. Edinboro (2-1) drops from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“It was good to get onto the next game and play the way we needed to,” Zwaan said. “All of our goals for this season are sitting in front of us, we just have to go attack it week-by-week.”
The Rams came out of the locker room with a vengeance on Saturday as Elder capped a 14-play opening march that covered 75 yards. And then moments later, WCU’s Jordan Burney forced a fumble in Scots’ territory, and Dooley connected with Rasheem James on the next play for a 29-yard touchdown.
Duggan then grabbed a tipped-pass and went 31 yards the other way for a defensive score and a three TD lead less than 12 minutes in.
“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a pick-six in my life,” Duggan said. “It was also my first collegiate touchdown, so that was awesome.”
Elder added two more big-play scores before the end of the half, including a 43-yard run and a 58-yarder on a screen, where he walked into the end zone after Edinboro defenders mistakenly thought the whistle had blown near midfield.
“We look to the defense and the special teams to make plays, and if they give us good field position, we know we are going to score,” said Karpinski, who finished with four catches for 78 yards.
It looked like the special teams had rebounded from a miserable outing a week earlier when Mike Class blocked a Scots’ punt and teammate Justice Smith picked it up and found the end zone early in the second quarter. But the ensuing kickoff went for 88-yards, setting up Edinboro’s first TD.
And after Karpinski hauled in a 36-yard strike from Dooley, the Rams had an historic 48-14 advantage heading into the intermission.
“Everybody contributed, but that’s what we needed,” Zwaan said. “(Edinboro) is a team that can get points on the board relatively quickly, so when we had them down, we got the interception return and then the blocked punt, and all of the sudden they were really down.”
Mark Dukes later scored on a 44-yard run for the Rams, and the Scots tacked on a couple late scores to make it respectable.
“We wanted to bounce back after a tough loss,” Duggan said. “Coming out and having a big first half was huge. This was a bounce-back game and will give us good momentum heading into the PSAC East.”
West Chester rolled up 322 of its 466 yards of total offense in the first half. Elder wound up with 85 yards on 13 carries in limited duty and Dooley was 12-for-19 for 164 yards.
“I’d like for us to be a little healthier, for sure,” Zwaan pointed out. “If we can do that, I like our football team.”
NOTES: Starting receiver Jordan Banks underwent surgery on an injured wrist earlier this week and is out until at least late October/early November … Starting right tackle Vince Lostracco did not dress for the game with a high-ankle sprain and was replaced by junior Jake Duncan. And after one series, left tackle Evyn Stadulis (cramps) exited in favor of junior Connor Walsh. “A lot of guys stepped up for us under tough conditions,” Zwaan said … Coatesville’s James Clark, a junior wideout for Edinboro, scored three TDs, and finished with a dozen catches for 104 yards.
West Chester running back Jarel Elder reaches for the end zone to score in front of Edinboro defensive back Brandon Anderson in the first quarter of Saturday’s 62-28 victory.
West Chester defensive back Shaquille James fights off Edinboro wide receiver James Clark to intercept a pass in the second quarter.
West Chester quarterback Paul Dooley attempts a pass against Edinboro on Saturday.