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Shepherd Football Outlasts Fairmont State

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Senior quarterback Connor Jessop (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run/Virginia Tech) completed 19-of-34 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns, while senior running back Jabre Lolley (St. Mark's) rushed 27 times for 114 yards to lead Shepherd University (6-0, 6-0 MEC)  to 28-23 win over Fairmont State (4-3, 4-2 MEC) in MEC football action at Fairmont State on Thursday night.

Fairmont State took a 7-0 lead when JuJuan Young-Battle teamed with Shawn Harris on a seven-yard scoring pass with 1:47 left in the first quarter.

The Fighting Falcons took a 14-0 lead when Naiquan Thomas returned an interception back 37 yards for a score with 1:37 left in the quarter.

Jessop fired a 13-yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Wanya Allen (Sterling, Va./Potomac Falls) with 12:55 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-7. Senior kicker Zach Wise (Berkeley Springs, W.Va./Berkeley Springs) added the extra point.

The Rams tied the game when Jessop tossed a six-yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Ryan Feiss (Forest Hill, Md/North Harford) with 10:37 left in the second quarter.

Shepherd took a 21-14 advantage into the break when sophomore running back Patrick Griffin (Sussex Tech) scored on a two-yard run with 26 seconds left in the half.

Fairmont State cut the lead to 21-17 when Sam Keil connected on a 26-yard field goal with 6:10 left in the third period.

Young-Battle fired a 34-yard scoring pass to Laurence King with 35 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Falcons a 23-21 advantage.

Jessop teamed with sophomore tight end DJ Cornish (Lake Forest) on a six-yard scoring pass with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter for the game-winner.

Fairmont State drove to the Shepherd 17-yard line in the game's final minute. Freshman defensive back Dillon Clary (Washington, D.C./Theodore Roosevelt) batted down a fourth-and-10 pass intended for Jeff Iweh with 25 seconds left to preserve the win.

Young-Battle completed 14-of-34 passes for243 yards for Fairmont State.

Feiss led the Shepherd receivers with seven catches for 97 yards. Cornish added five receptions for 89 yards. Brandon Boyd had four receptions for 79 yards for Fairmont State. King added four grabs for 68 yards.

Jessop added 40 yards on eight carries for the Rams. Terrell Charles rushed 12 times for 77 yards for the Falcons

Shepherd gained 429 yards of total offense, while Fairmont State totaled 374.

Senior linebacker James Gupton (Waldorf, Md./North Point)  and senior defensive end Myles Humphrey (Upper Marlboro, Md/Dr. Henry A. Wise) led the Rams each they each recorded eight tackles (seven solos).  Gupton recorded 2.5 tackles-for-loss (-7 yards), while Humphrey recorded a pair of sacks (-12 yards) to tie Howard Jones (35, 2010-13) as Shepherd's all-time sack leader. Stephen Turner and D.J. Adediwura each had nine tackles to lead Fairmont State.

The Rams return to action next Saturday (Oct. 21) when the host Urbana at noon at Ram Stadium.

Notes: Jabre Lolley (St Marks) rushed for 100 yards or more for the fifth time this season … Shepherd improved to 36-32-7 in the all-time series with Fairmont State … the Shepherd-Fairmont State game will delay air on AT&T SportsNet (Pittsburgh) on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.

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