Conexión San Ángelo/ Staff report
Photo courtesy of Pat Carrigan

COPPERAS COVE, Texas - The Angelo State football team lost to Washburn 41-25 in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl held in Copperas Cove, Texas, on Saturday evening. 

The Rams (6-5) were limited offensively by turnovers in the game, as the Ichabods (7-5) intercepted three passes, returning two for touchdowns, and recovered a pair of fumbles as well.  

Neither team was able to score early in the game as ASU held WU off the board in the opening quarter.

Both Hunter Kyle and Grant Aschenbeck finished the night with double-digit tackles for the Ram defense with 12 and 10 respectively. Nine different players recorded at least half a tackle for loss in the contest with Kyle leading the way at 2.5. Grant Coonce also forced a fumble in the second half that Leddy French recovered for the only Ichabod turnover in the game.

Washburn finally broke up the shutout early in the second period with a four-yard rushing touchdown. Angelo State responded with a field goal to bring the game back within four at the 8:42 mark of the second quarter. 

ASU kicker Connor Flanigan split the uprights from 30 yards out, marking his 17th made field goal of the season, a new Angelo State record. The sophomore finished the season 17-21 on the year.

The Ichabods scored twice more before the end of the half and the two teams went into the break with WU up 21-3.

Angelo State brought itself back within just 11 just after the start of the second half, as the Rams ran a double pass and wide receiver Tashani Bibbs connected with Lawson Ayo for a 33-yard score. Ayo ended the game as the Rams' leading receiver, catching four passes for 112 yards on the night. It was his second game of the season with more than 100 receiving yards.

Bibbs also had a strong night, with one touchdown pass and a catch on a two-point conversion late in the game. The redshirt freshman was named the ASU Most Valuable Player in the game for his performance.

Washburn scored twice more in the third quarter and again in the final quarter to push their lead to its widest point at 38-10.

The Rams cut the lead back one more time when quarterback Jake Faber hit Keith Henson II from 11 yards out. ASU attempted an onside kick after the score but was unable to recover it and the Ichabods capitalized with their final score of the game on a 41-yard field goal.

Angelo State scored one final time on the night with just under two minutes to play as Tyrese Nathan ran the ball in from two yards out. The Rams followed with a successful two-point conversion try to bring the score to 41-25, where it ended.

Josh Stevens led the Rams on the ground with 77 yards on 16 carries. Nathan rushed for 74 yards and one score on 10 carries. Faber, who was intercepted three times, threw for 202 yards on 15-of-36 and one touchdown.