Shepherd, DSU remain on offensive
Shepherd became the first West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member to advance to the NCAA Division II semifinals following a convincing 49-14 win against Mercyhurst in the Super Region One final last weekend. The win also gave the Rams the WVIAC single-season record for wins with 12. The Rams are now 6-5 all-time in the NCAA playoffs.
Delta State advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the third time in program history with a 28-7 victory against Albany State, which entered the game with the nation’s top scoring defense. The Statesmen are 1-1 in their previous semifinal appearances. In 2000, DSU downed North Dakota State en route to the Division II championship, but in 2006, the Statesman fell to eventual national champion Grand Valley State. DSU is 11-4 all-time in NCAA postseason play. The Statesmen also played host to the 2000 NCAA semifinals.
Shepherd ranks fifth in the nation in scoring offense (40.92 ppg), propelled by a running game that features junior Tommy Addison, who is averaging 125.38 ypg, which ranks eighth in Division II. The Rams also field a stout rushing defense, allowing just 83.85 ypg on the ground (eighth in nation), and are second in Division II with a 1.69 turnover margin.
DSU features a balanced offensive attack, and ranks eighth in the nation in total offense with 469.00 yards per game. Senior running back Trevor Deed is the first runner/receiver in school history with more than 5,000 all-purpose yards, and needs just 22 yards to become the first 2,000 yard rusher/2,000 yard receiver in league history.
This will be the first meeting between the two programs.