SAN ANGELO, TX — The Angelo State Rams (11-0) hosted their first playoff game against the Bemidji State Beavers (10-2) in round two of the 2022 NCAA Div II Football Championship tournament on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 1st Community Credit Union Field at LeGrand Stadium at 1 p.m. The Rams are the No.1 seed in their region and earned a bye last week. Angelo State’s defense put on another stellar performance holding the Beavers to just seven points. The Rams won today 33-7.
Angelo State got into trouble early when Pitts muffed a punt from the Beavers at the Rams’ 10-yard line. Bemidji State recovered and only took two plays to score a touchdown. The Beavers led with 7:28 remaining in the 1st quarter, 7-0.
The Rams finally got on the board in the 2nd quarter. Following an interception by Deshaun Douglas, Zach Bronkhorst led the Rams inside the Beavers’ 20-yard line. He then hit Nate Omayebu III in the flat, and Omayebu did the rest. He broke through several defenders and drug two Beavers into the end zone for a touchdown. Ram tied the game with 10:36 left in the 2nd quarter, 7-7.
The Rams’ Defense made a 4th down stand with time winding down in the first half. After a long kickoff return, Bemidji State threatened inside Angelo State’s 25-yard line. The secondary played tough, knocking down two passes in a row to force a 4th and long. The Beavers went deep to try and catch the Rams off guard, but the coverage held. So the Rams took over on downs.
Angelo State took the lead just before halftime. First, Bronkhorst hit Kel Williams over the middle for a gain of 39 yards. Then, Kayson Phillips found room to run on the outside and sprinted another 24 yards to Bemidji State’s 12-yard line. Finally, Bronkhorst hit Omayebu III on a short, 12-yard pass, and he forced his way into the end zone for a touchdown. The Rams took the lead with 22 seconds left in the half, 13-7.
The 3rd quarter turned into a defensive battle as neither team surrendered points until the 4th quarter. Then, however, the Rams opened up the floodgates in the 4th.
Asa Fuller converted a 47-yard field goal to put the Rams up 16-7. Then, following an interception by Andrew Pitts, Brayden Wilcox outran the defense to the pylon for a 7-yard touchdown.
Bemidji State started to get desperate, down 23-7, and QB Brandon Alt became careless with the football. He threw another interception straight to K’Hari Watson on the ensuing Beaver possession. Watson returned the pick 45 yards to the Beavers’ 9-yard line. Asa Fuller converted another field goal try, this one from 26 yards, and the Rams led 26-7 with 3:15 remaining in the 4th quarter.
Angelo State’s defense added one more touchdown before the end of the game. Kason McCullough-Cooper intercepted a pass at Bemidji State’s 28-yard line and returned it to the house.
The Rams won 33-7 behind their back-breaking defense. The Angelo State Rams (12-0) will host the Colorado School of Mines (10-2) in a rematch of Lone Star Conference play. The game is on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1st Community Credit Union Field at LeGrand Stadium in San Angelo. The time is still to be determined.