Conexión San Ángelo/ ASU Sports Department, contributor

SAN ANGELO - The Angelo State University Rams football team returned to the win column Saturday night, defeating Western New Mexico 44-7 at LeGrand Stadium at 1st Community Credit Union Field.

The Rams (4-4, 2-4 LSC) out-gained the Mustangs (2-7, 1-5 LSC) 633 to 241 on the night, including 281 to just 68 on the ground. The 281 rushing yards were a season-high for the Rams.

ASU's defense had one of its best games of the season, breaking up a season-high 10 passes, forcing 10 punts and creating three turnovers.

Justin Jackson led the defense with 10 tackles on the night including one for loss, followed by Leddy French who had seven. French also recorded a pair of pass break-ups and his first career interception against the Mustangs.

Myron Turner Jr. and Kaimon Ontiveros also had two pass break-ups each, while Gilbert Gildersleeve, Fred Lawrence, Donavyn Jackson and Eric Jones each had one.

The other two turnovers ASU forced were on fumbles that were recovered by Grant Aschenbeck, who had six tackles, and Matt Andre. Three Rams also had three players record sacks, including g Isiah Clark, Garrett Sawyer and Markus Jones, who had two. Jones now leads the Lone Star Conference with eight sacks on the season.

Western New Mexico did record the first score of the game, as Javia Hall found Sean North for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 5:55 left in the first quarter. It would be the only score of the game for the Mustangs, as the Rams shut them out for the next 50 minutes.

The Rams first score of the game came after Jones strip sack of WNMU's Hall. Lawson Ayo caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Faber to tie the game. 

Faber ended the night with 27 completions on 40 attempts for 335 yards and three touchdowns. He completed passes to 11 different receivers and a gained 21 yards on the ground.

The defense forced a turnover on downs to give the ball back to the offense. The Rams next score, Faber completed a pass to ASU's leading rusher on the night, Tyrese Nathan. Nathan took the ball 45 yards to the end zone to score and give the Rams a lead they would hold for the remainder of the night.

Nathan had 82 yards on 15 carries in the game as well as a career-high and team-high 80 receiving yards. He scored ASU's next touchdown after a quick three and out by the defense. This time Nathan scampered for a 15-yard run to put ASU up 21-7. Another three and out gave the ball back to the Rams as Josh Stevens found the end zone. Stevens carried the ball the right but cut back towards the middle of the field for 26 yards and the touchdown. 

ASU wasn't done scoring in the first half as Faber found Keke Chism on a 23 yard pass and the Rams went into the locker room up 35-7.

Three dukes and five duchess nominees were on the field during half-time festivities awaiting the announcement of the 2017 Homecoming King and Queen.

Claire Parker was announced at ASU's homecoming festivities as the 2017 Homecoming Queen.
Parker is a sophomore, with a major in kinesiology and pursing a minor in Spanish, biology and psychology. She was nominated by Sigma Kappa. 

ASU President, Dr. Brian May with ASU's 2017 Homecoming Queen, Clare Parker.

Clare Parker, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Max Parker.

Chism's touchdown catch ended up being the final time ASU would get into the end zone on the day, but kicker Connor Flanigan helped the Rams add on to the lead with three field goals in the final two quarters.The sophomore connected on field goals form 33, 32 and 25 yards. Flanigan had 14 total points in the game, hitting all five extra points he attempted, which was just one shy of the Angelo State single-game record for a kicker. 

ASU's defense only allowed 116 yards in the second half and forced two turnovers. 

The Rams will be back at home for senior day next Saturday, Nov. 4 taking on West Texas A&M at 6 p.m. at LeGrand Stadium at 1st Community Credit Union Field.

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