Conexión San Ángelo/ ASU sports department, contributor
Photo courtesy, Texas A&M Commerce sports 

COMMERCE, Texas – The Angelo State football team gave No. 10 Texas A&M-Commerce Lions everything it had, however came up just short, 34-20 on Saturday afternoon in Commerce.

The Rams (3-4, 1-3 LSC) trailed just 27-20 with 8:14 left in the fourth quarter after Connor Flanigan hit a 20-yard field goal. The Lions (6-1, 4-1 LSC) were forced into a three and out as the ASU defense held on a third and one to give the offense the ball back.

After getting the ball back on its own 19, the Rams were unable to get a first down. The Lions capitalized on the ensuing drive, scoring on a 33 yard pass to push the game out of reach at 34-20 with 1:29 left in the game.

The Lions out-gained the Rams 487-379 in total yards with only one turnover being on ASU's final drive. ASU threw for 294 yards as Donovan Thompson had a big part of the offense. The senior wide receiver caught an ASU single game record 13 passes for 170 yards. A total of 10 ASU wide receiver's caught a pass including Tashani Bibbs, Keke Chism, Josh Stevens, Tate Kennedy, Wesley Lewis, Lawson Ayo, Jalyn Judkins, Tyrese Nathan and Larry Johnson.

The Rams defense was tested on the first drive of the game as TAMUC came out throwing moving the ball all the way down to the ASU seven yard line. A holding penalty put the ball at the 17 and after an incompletion and short gain the Lions setup for a field goal. The snap was bad and the Rams stopped the Lions short.

The two teams traded drives before the Rams were able to get on the board first. Rotherham used his arm completed six passes on a 12 play drive before the drive stalled on the TAMUC 28. Flanigan came on to kick one of his two field goals. This time it was a 45 yard field goal to give ASU a 3-0 lead at the 4:20 mark in the first quarter

The Lions quickly responded with a 49 yard touchdown pass on the ensuing drive to take a 7-3 advantage. Texas A&M-Commerce added to their lead with a 23-yard field goal from Kristov Martinez in the second quarter.

A big punt return by Texas A&M-Commerce turned into a quick score with 4:11 left in the second quarter as Luis Perez found Marquis Wimberly for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 17-3.

The Rams answered on its final drive before the half. Rotherham threw ASU's only passing touchdown of the game finding Wesley Lewis in the end zone for a 23 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-10 at halftime. The junior quarterback completed 27-of-50 for the game and threw for 294 yards for the game.

TAMUC scored first after halftime to extend its lead to 24-10 on Wimberly's second receiving touchdown of the game. The linebacker duo of Justin Jackson and Grant Aschenbeck led the way defensively with double-digit tackles. Jackson finished with a team high 12 tackles and 1.0 tackles for loss and Aschenbeck made 11 stops on the night. The 34 points is the second lowest offensive output for TAMUC of the season.

Rotherham found the end zone to keep the Rams in the game with a three yard rush at the end of the third quarter. Thompson did some heavy lifting on the drive catching a 31 yarder and 13 yarder on back-to-back plays to keep ASU in the game.

The Lions once again answered ASU's scoring drive with one of their own to make it 27-17 with 10:58 to go in the game before Flanigan's final field goal made it a one score game.

The Rams will return to LeGrand Stadium at 1st Community Credit Union Field on Saturday, Oct. 28 to host Western New Mexico for Homecoming with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

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