INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Senior cornerback Keon Robinson (Fairfax Station, VA/ Lake Braddock) returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown to lead Shepherd University to a 41-20 win over West Virginia State in WVIAC football action at Lakin Field on Saturday.
Shepherd took a 7-0 led on a three-yard plunge by junior running back Jihad Rasheed (Detroit, MI/Southeastern/Michigan) with 3:28 left in the second quarter. Redshirt-freshman kicker Ryan Earls (Stevensville, MD/Kent Island) added the extra point.
The Rams took a 14-0 lead into the break behind a 61-yard punt return by Robinson with 2:01 left in the half.
State cut the lead to 14-6 when Ricky Phillips teamed with Shanin Bennefield on a nine-yard scoring pass with 10:59 left in the third quarter. Cory Broughton’s extra point attempt was blocked.
Earls connected on a 31-yard field goal with 8:06 left in the third quarter to increase the lead to 17-7.
Senior quarterback Bobby Cooper (Davidsonville, MD/South River) teamed with senior tight end John Frick (Greencastle, PA/Greencastle-Antrim) on a four-yard score with 3:34 left in the third quarter.
Moments later the Rams took a 31-6 lead on a 33–yard interception return by De’Ontre Johnson (Upper Marlboro, MD/Wise) for a score.
Robert Dooley raced 39 yards for a score for State to cut the lead to 31-13 with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
Robinson took the ensuing kickoff and went 88 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 38-13.
Earls added a 27-yard field goal with 11:12 left in the fourth quarter to up the Shepherd lead to 41-13.
Phillips teamed with Aubura Taylor on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 8:33 left in the game to complete the scoring.
Cooper hit on 10-of-15 passes for 139 yards for the Rams. Phillips connected on 20-of-33 passes for 233 yards for the Yellow Jackets.
Senior wide receiver Larry Lowe (Stafford, VA/Brooke Point) led the Shepherd receiving corps with three receptions for 52 yards. Freshman running back Allen Cross (Elkridge, MD/Long Reach) added a pair of catches for 88 yards. Ervin Kent had eight catches for 114 yards to lead State.
Rasheed rushed 18 times for 80 yards to lead the Rams. Dooley and Taylor each rushed for 39 yards to lead for the Yellow Jackets.
Shepherd had 379 yards of total offense while West Virginia State had 323.
Robinson, junior linebacker Dominique Dixon (Westover, WV/University), and senior outside linebacker Dominic Tolson (Forestville, MD/Central) each had seven tackles to lead the Shepherd defense. Dominique Matthews, Tyler Long, and Edward Blair each had 11 stops to pace the Yellow Jackets.
Shepherd improves to 6-2, 5-1 in WVIAC play, while West Virginia State falls to 2-6, 4-1. The Rams are idle until November 3 when they host Glenville State at noon for Military Appreciation Day.
Keon Robinson had a busy day as he also saw action on offense.
John Frick hauls in a touchdown catch in the third quarter.
Robert Hayes and Demetrius Dixon apply the pressure to State quarterback Ricky Phillips.
William McKenzie on the kickoff return for the Rams.
Keon Robinson exchanges a postgame handshake.