By Dan Nolan
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College wide receiver Matt Shepherd (Leesburg, Fla./Leesburg) made the most of his opportunities at last Friday’s D3 Football Senior Classic in Salem, Va.
Playing for the North squad, Shepherd saw plenty of action as a receiver and returner in the game that featured the nation’s top Division III seniors. While no official stats were kept, the Fighting Scot made some big plays, hauling in nearly 80 yards worth of receptions.
No reception was bigger than Shepherd’s catch on a crucial fourth-and-six late in the game with his team trailing 18-17. His 41-yard catch in double coverage kept the North’s drive alive and set up his team’s winning 34-yard field goal with six seconds left. A special teams turnover returned for a TD on the ensuing kickoff gave the North an extra six points for the final 26-18 score. Shepherd’s late catch was icing on the cake for the Fighting Scot senior, who also returned a kick 50 yards and hauled in a 25-yard pass in the first half. He also got the chance to run from the line of scrimmage on a reverse.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Shepherd of the all-star game. “I’ve never seen a group of people care so much about Division III. All the players and coaches were amazing. It was a great way to end my college career. I was just happy to be able to represent Monmouth College, our team and the conference one more time on the field.”