Conexión San Ángelo/ ASU Sports Department, contributor 

SAN ANGELO - The Angelo State football team was unable to overcome five turnovers Saturday night at LeGrand Stadium at 1st Community Credit Union Field, losing its conference opener to Tarleton State, 30-24.

With the loss, the Rams move to 2-1 on the season and start off Lone Star Conference play at 0-1. ASU held Tarleton State (2-1, 1-0 LSC) to just 291 yards of total offense and only 83 yards rushing. Angelo State gained 545 yards of total offense but the Texans scored 17 points off five ASU turnovers. 

ASU looked to take an early lead driving the ball to the TSU 11 yard line. After an incomplete pass on third down, Charlie Rotherham threw a pass to Lawson Ayo but it fell incomplete. 

Tarleton opened the scoring in the game with just over nine minutes remaining in the first quarter on an 11-yard run. It was the only score from either team in the opening quarter, but Tarleton scored again with a field goal quickly after the second quarter begin to go up 10-0.

Angelo State responded with its first score as running back, Josh Stevens, ran the ball into the end zone from a yard out. ASU went six plays on 75 yards in 2:01 to cut the lead to 10-7 in the second quarter with Stevens gaining 48 of the 75 yards on the ground. 

Stevens had a career night rushing against the Texans, carrying the ball 23 times for a career-high 169 yards. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry and also contributed 44 yards receiving.  

A quick three-and-out by the Ram defense gave the ball back to the offense but Tarleton State picked up a ASU fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.

The Rams had a quick answer on the next drive. Rotherham found Jalyn Judkins for his first career touchdown as a Ram. Judkins caught a season-high three passes for 40 yards on the night. The drive covered 76 yards on nine plays in 2:10. 

Judkins was one of eight ASU players to catch a pass on the night, including seven that had more than 30 yards.

Senior Donovan Thompson led the group with nine receptions for 121 yards. He also surpassed the 2,000-yard career receiving mark becoming the sixth player in ASU history to accompish the feat. Tashani Bibbs also had five receptions, Stevens had four and three other Rams had three each. Overall the Rams racked up 360 receiving yards.

Rotherham had the majority of the completions, going 20-of-34 for 249 yards with two fumbles. Jake Faber also had 10 completions on the night in 23 attempts for 111 yards but was intercepted twice.

A Fred Lawrence interception late in the second quarter, setup a Connor Flaningan 25-yard field goal. Tarleton State would score again as well before the half, taking a 24-17 lead into the locker room.

Neither team did much scoring in the second half as Tarleton State hit a pair of field goals in the third quarter. TSU looked to increase after an interception was returned to the ASU five-yard line. The Ram defense limited the damage to just a field goal not allowing any yards on three plays to force the first field goal. 

Angelo State was inside the Tarleton State five-yard line with 10 minutes left in the game and looked to cut into TSU's 30-17. The Rams were turned away at the two-yard line on fourth down. ASU was able to pull back within one touchdown with seven minutes left to play as Rotherham ran the ball in from four yards out.

The Rams would not get the ball again as Tarleton State was able to get enough first downs to run the clock out. 

The defense was led by Justin Jackson's team-high 12 tackles. Bright Ihegworo recorded a career high three sacks and finished with four tackles for loss. Ihegworo tied a career high with 11 tackles. Markus Jones made seven tackles, two of which were sacks. 

ASU will be on the road for the first time next week, facing Eastern New Mexico at 8 p.m. CST in Portales, New Mexico.