GLENVILLE - There's only one thing on the mind of the Glenville State College football team and that's finding a way to knock off rival Shepherd come noon Saturday in Shepherdstown.
The Rams enter the fray ranked seventh in Super Region One of Division II. Like the Pioneers of head coach David Hutchison, the Rams are the only other West Virginia Conference program with just one setback.
GSC is coming off a 14-10 home upset of then No. 25 Charleston last weekend and coach Hutchison said it didn't take long to get the focus on Shepherd (6-2, 5-1 WVIAC).
"When you get to Sunday and turn on the film you realize how good Shepherd is and it will wake you right back up," the coach said of not celebrating the victory versus Charleston for too long.
"We're completely focused on Shepherd. The guys are upbeat and excited. They understand it's a championship game. Since the Concord loss we've had that mentality that we control our own destiny and have to do it one week at a time."
If the G-men can win this week and take care of business next weekend versus Seton Hill, they will win the WVIAC crown and perhaps still have a shot at earning a berth in the Division II playoffs. However, that's not the focus right now.
(5-4, 5-1 WVIAC)
(6-2, 5-1 WVIAC)
Kickoff: Noon, Saturday at Shepherdstown
Last year: Rams won 37-20 at Glenville
Recent series: GSC has won 4 of last 5
Shepherd's rush defense is allowing less than 40 yards a contest and is ranked first nationally in that category. Head coach Monte Cater's Rams are also the fourth toughest team to score against as they allow less than 14 points an outing.
"That's unbelievable. They allow less than 2 yards per carry. It's staggering," Hutchison said of the Shepherd defense, which he noted opposing teams have been able to throw against.
It appears Justin Feagin will get the call under center for GSC (5-4, 5-1) again this week as Darold Hughes is doubtful. Pioneer tailback Rahmann Lee now has 1,016 yards rushing this season. He's averaging 6.4 yards a carry and has eight touchdowns.
"For us, we have to be able to run the football," Hutchison stated. "We can't turn the ball over. We have to play solid defense and not give up the big play.
"Keon Robinson is an unbelievable returner for them. He's a special player and is a starting cornerback."
Robinson has a kickoff return, a punt return and an interception return for a score this season. The Rams haven't been able to run the ball very effectively, but Larry Lowe is their top wideout with 32 catches for 380 yards. Bobby Cooper is the WVIAC leader in passing efficiency, but fellow signal-caller Trae Tinsman passed for 108 yards in the Rams' last game.
Shepherd, which was off last week, had lost four straight in this series before rolling to a 37-20 win at Morris Stadium last fall. GSC threw two pick-6s in the first quarter, which led to a quick 21-10 deficit and the Rams forced four turnovers on the day.
GSC defensive back Demetrius Quarles is coming off a three interception game, which led to him being named the WVIAC defensive player of the week.
"Those are the expectations for a two-year starter and he lived up to the hype," Hutchison said of the Miami of Ohio transfer. "Teams have had more success throwing the football than running against Shepherd.
"Some teams have been able to exploit their pass defense, but at the same time we'll keep doing what we do and have a mixture of run and pass and try to figure out a way to attack that unbelievable defense."