Sports

KU falls to undefeated Shepherd 42-35 in playoff rematch

Offense totals 493 yards, defense struggles

By Gavin Riley

KU came up short in this playoff rematch, losing to Shepherd 42-35 despite a strong performance from the offense.

Fans remember their previous matchup, when KU lost a heartbreaker to Shepherd on a desperation Hail Mary touchdown with the clock winding down. This play would end up on SportsCenter’s top 10 the following day.

KU jumped out to an early lead against the Rams, capping off an 8-play, 78-yard drive with a touchdown run from Darryl Davis-McNeil.

Shepherd answered with less than a minute left in the first quarter, intercepting Donny Blaine’s errant pass intended for receiver Jerome Kapp, resulting in a 28-yard touchdown return.

Blaine and Kapp did not miss a beat after that, connecting on back-to-back touchdowns. Blaine hit an open Kapp on a 22-yard touchdown, then followed it with a fifty-yard strike down the left sideline to Kapp for another score.

Shepherd quickly answered, returning KU’s kickoff for a touchdown on an incredible run that resulted in multiple missed tackles from KU’s special teams.

The Rams evened the score at 21 apiece with a six-yard touchdown pass to begin the third quarter.

Blaine and the offense regained the lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter, reaching the endzone on a touchdown pass to redshirt junior Alex Mackenzie. 

Shepherd then scored 14 unanswered to take the lead 35-28.

Davis-McNeil punched one in the endzone from three yards out to tie the game at 35.

Flashbacks of last year’s playoff loss appeared as Shepherd took the lead on a 70-yard touchdown with 1:41 left in the game.

The defense struggled to contain the Rams’ offense in the fourth quarter.

Blaine and the offense attempted to make a last second push for the endzone but ended up fumbling and turning the ball over.

KU fell to 2-2 on the season. They will be traveling to East Stroudsburg on Saturday, Oct. 1, to take on the Warriors.