Defensive dominance pushes No. 23 Lions to 17-3 win over Angelo State in regular season finale
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Nov 17, 2019
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San Angelo, Texas -- The No. 23 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team earned its ninth win of the year Saturday, using excellent defense to pick up a 17-3 victory over Angelo State University at LeGrand Stadium.

The Lions wrap up the regular season with an overall record of 9-2, while the Rams are 8-3 for the year.

A&M-Commerce now looks forward to the selection announcement for the NCAA Division II Football Championship field. The top seven teams in Super Region Four qualify for the tournament, and the Lions were ranked sixth before the win over Angelo State. A selection to the playoffs would be the fifth straight for A&M-Commerce.

The Lion football team will meet at The Club in the Rayburn Student Center at 3:45 p.m. to watch the selection show. The show will be broadcast on at 4 p.m.


- The Lions were dominant defensively, limiting Angelo State to 161 yards of offense on 64 plays - an average of 2.5 yards per play.

- Chris Williams (Atlanta, Ga.) led the Lions with six tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss.

- Jaylon Hodge (Houston - FB Travis) had three tackles - all of which happened behind the ASU line of scrimmage. He had 2.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss.

- Miklo Smalls (Plano - East Senior) completed 13-of-21 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 17-yard touchdown carry in the first quarter.

- Jemal Williams (Inglewood, Calif.) had eight carries for 72 yards, including an important 40-yard carry in the fourth quarter.

- Chance Cooper (Leander - Rouse) had five receptions for 56 yards, and Tyler Guice (Atlanta, Ga.) had a fourth quarter touchdown reception.

- Jake Viquez (Rockwall) made a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, was 2-for-2 on PAT attempts, and averaged 38.0 yards on six punts, with a long boot of 45 yards and two punts inside the ASU 20-yardline.


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Angelo State received the opening kickoff and had its most effective drive of the night, going 50 yards in 11 plays before settling for a 42-yard Connor Flanigan field goal with 9:57 left in the opening quarter.

The Lions were held to a punt on their opening drive, but were far more efficient on their second. Using eight plays to travel 54 yards, a misdirection play put points on the board. Facing third-and-5 at the ASU 17, Smalls rolled left and practically walked into the endzone to give A&M-Commerce a 7-3 lead with 0:18 left in the first quarter.

Viquez narrowly missed a 37-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter, and neither team threatened to score in the remainder of the half. This was large part due to defensive dominance from the Lions, who forced ASU to punt on seven consecutive drives after the Rams' opening field goal.

Even with the Lion defense standing strong, the Ram defense also met the challenge. Neither team scored in the third quarter, and only seven plays were run in the opponents' territory by either side. The Rams drove to the Lions' 13-yardline just before the end of the quarter, elected to go for the first down on fourth-and-3, and the pass went incomplete to give the Lions the ball.

The defensive stop spurred the Lion offense on. A drive deep into Ram territory was fumbled early in the quarter, but the next two drive turned into crucial points. Smalls completed a 24-yard pass to Kelan Smith (Dallas - First Baptist) to put the Lions in scoring position, and Viquez made it a 10-3 game with 6:14 to play when he drilled a 40-yard field goal.

Hodge started the next defensive drive with back-to-back sacks to help force a critical punt in the one-score game. Jemal Williams' 40-yard rush on the second play of the ensuing drive set up a goal-to-go situation, and Smalls found Guice wide open for a 2-yard touchdown pass, pushing the lead to 17-3 with 2:17 to play.

The Rams attempted to air it out in desperation attempts to quickly get back in the game, but four straight incompletions turned the ball over to A&M-Commerce, who kneeled the clock out for the ninth win of the year.