No. 3 Angelo State turns back Hounds 28-9
Oct. 8—SAN ANGELO, Texas — Angelo State's Zach Bronkhorst made a costly early mistake, but he recovered in plenty of time to help the third-ranked Rams remain unbeaten.
The senior quarterback finished with four touchdown passes on Saturday night, and the Rams held Eastern New Mexico University to just three points the rest of the way en route to a 28-9 Lone Star Conference victory.
Junior Cason Ochoa stepped in front of an ASU receiver and returned an interception 35 yards on the game's second play from scrimmage, giving ENMU (1-5, 0-4 LSC) a quick 6-0 lead in the opening minute.
By the end of the quarter, however, Bronkhorst had already thrown for three TDs.
Second-year Greyhounds coach Tye Hiatt said he was pleased with how his team competed against the Rams (6-0, 3-0).
"I thought we really battled them in the second quarter, and for the rest of the game," he said. "Obviously, you're only going to get a few opportunities against the No. 3-ranked team, but I was proud of our effort."
Sophomore Mario Sanchez filled in for injured starter Kason Martin and completed 7-of-15 passes for 82 yards, while junior running back Isaiah Tate rushed 27 times for 103 yards. Sanchez connected with junior wide receiver Asa Wondeh on a 46-yard completion late in the half, setting up sophomore Cooper Hamilton's 23-yard field goal with 23 seconds to go.
Martin missed his second consecutive game with a shoulder injury, but Hiatt said Sanchez has handled himself well in a tough spot.
"He's a great competitor," Hiatt said.
Bronkhorst threw scoring passes of 14 yards to senior wide receiver Noah Massey, 41 yards to freshman wide receiver Rasheen Green and 19 yards to freshman wide receiver Kel Williams to make it 21-6 at the quarter. All three scoring drives covered at least 70 yards, in eight or fewer plays.
The Rams got their final tally late in the third stanza, marching 57 yards in eight plays after an ENMU fumble for an 11-yard, Bronkhorst-to-Matthew Carter strike.
For the game, the Hounds gave up 417 total yards, but they made life tough at times on Bronkhorst, who finished 14-of-31 for 248 yards.
The Hounds have faced what Hiatt called an early-season "gauntlet." Since beating New Mexico Highlands in the opener, they've lost to five teams with a combined record of 22-6.
"I thought we ran the ball pretty well tonight," Hiatt said. "Their defensive front seven is one of the best in the country, but we've got to be able to convert when we get the chance."
On paper, the schedule eases up a bit, beginning with Saturday's 6 p.m. tilt at Greyhound Stadium against winless Simon Fraser. Still, Hiatt is wary.
"They almost beat UTPB (Texas-Permian Basin, a 31-24 overtime loss) tonight," he said of the Burnaby, B.C.-based Red Leafs (0-4, 0-4), the only NCAA football program located outside the United States. "It just shows again that any team in this conference can beat anyone on a given night."