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The Angelo State University soccer team has no shortage of impressive games over the past decade.

The Rams have some magical attacks, upset over national ranking teams, and the final result is decided at the last minute.

Here are our 10 best matches of the decade for Angelo State Rams 2010-2019:

1. ASU-Michigan Tech 2014, opening of the NCAA D-II playoff

Angelo State bounced back from a 21-0 deficit to beat Michigan Tech 42-41 in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoff in cold conditions in Houghton, Michigan.

It was the first Rams playoff victory since 1997.

ASU never took the lead until Kyle Washington hit Talon Smith quickly which turned into a 50 yard touchdown with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter.

Michigan Tech was able to reach the Rams’ 9-page line in the closing seconds, but the 26-page field goal was missed with three seconds left to trigger the ASU celebration.

The down-to-the-wire finish is a trademark for the 2014 Rams. They won their last four matches with 11 points combined.

ASU finished with a 9-3 record after losing to Colorado State-Pueblo 52-14 national champions in the next round.

Washington ties his career high with four TD operands against Michigan Tech, completing 20 of 31 throws for 339 yards.

Smith finished with five receptions for 169 yards and two TDs.

ASU ran back Ryan Byrd had 13 carry for 71 yards and one TD.

Senior back-back Ryan Clapsaddle leads the Rams defense with 15 tackles. Rush Seaver’s senior linebacker has 10, including eight solos and two tackles for losing.

2. ASU-Texas A&M Commerce 2014, LSC Playoff Championship

ASU’s Game of the Decade would not have been possible without this game.

Before the Rams can make a playoff, they must first go on the road and beat the regular season champions of Lone Star Conference, Texas A & M-Commerce.

The Rams jumped out to take the initial lead and held on for the 35-33 victory at the inaugural LSC Playoff Championship.

Brett Rasberry restored his side kick with 43 seconds left to secure victory.

With that victory, ASU punched its ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. It was also revenge for the 41-40 victory by Commerce at San Angelo earlier that season.

The Rams and Lions join more than 1,000 yards. ASU finished with 546 yards, including 254 in the field, and Commerce had 486.

Washington completes 24 of 35 passes for 292 yards and three TDs. The dual-threat QB also has 17 carries for 96 yards.

ASU led 21-6 in the round and 28-13 headed into the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Commerce Tyrik Rollison threw three TD operands in the last period, including a 69-yarder to Seth Smith, for the final margin.

Ryan Byrd has a team as high as 109 yards rushing for the Rams and one TD on 23 attempts to mark the third three-digit effort for the junior running back. Trey Green added five carrying 50 meters, highlighted by a 43-yard TD.

Rams’ recipient, Talon Smith, won five receptions for 101 yards and 61 yards TD, and Anthony Yancy had eight for 78.

3. ASU-Eastern New Mexico 2010, Week 1

ASU’s first match of the 2010 season was the right start for this decade.

Josh Neiswander throws a 9-yard touchdown to Tristan Carter with 32 seconds left to win 41-38 over New Mexico.

Neiswander, who was in graduate school but still had years of athletic eligibility, threw for 349 yards and 5 TDs at 28-from-48 passes.

He then played in the Canadian Football League and recently served as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Vipers XFL.

It was a battle of two large quarterbacks.

Wesley Wood from ENMU is 39 of 65 for 311 yards and four TDs. The big difference is that Neiswander doesn’t intercept, and Wood has three.

In his first match with the Rams, Carter ran 38 yards and finished with 118 yards and TD.

Dakarai Pecikonis has a big match with 7 catches for 161 yards and TD.

4. ASU-Chadron State 2011, Week 2

This is the Rams’ craziest comeback of the decade.

ASU removed the 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to surprise Chadron State 49-42 in a non-conference match in Nebraska.

Chadron is 42-21 ahead and has the ball when ASU D.J. Clough returned 32 yards for touchdown with 11:36.

This triggered an impossible rally which then saw a 7-page TD pass from Blake Hamblin to Nate Bayless with 9:16 left.

A 12 yard TD pass to Antwon Williams ties the game with 4:34 left.

Hamblin then drove the 94-yard Rams, limited by a 26-yard TD pass to C.J. Akins with 24 seconds left, to win the match.

Hamblin completed 24 of 37 passes for 271 yards and four TD with one INT. Akins has 5 receptions for 117 yards and one TD.

Alex James and Alvin Johnson are the leading tacklers for the Rams, with 10 and 8 respectively.

5. ASU-Abilene Christian 2012, Week 4

In August 2012, Abilene Christian University announced it would move to the NCAA Division I, leaving its old rivals at the Lone Star Conference.

That made it even sweeter when ASU defeated Wildcats ranked 19-28-23 one month later in their last meeting as enemies of LSC.

Blake Hamblin threw 274 yards at 33-from-48 passing. He ran for one score and threw for another.

Joey Knight (7 receptions for 77 yards and one TD) and Dakarai Pecikonis (7 for 51) led the Rams receiving corps.

Wildcats QB Mitchell Gale finished only 17 of 42 passes for 308 yards and three scores. He was fired seven times – including 2.5 by Rush Seaver and 1.5 by Clayton Callicutt.

New Student defensive back Ryan Clapsaddle intercepted the pass with 2:08 left to help seal the victory.

6. ASU-Tarleton State 2014, Week 8

ASU collected 18 points at Stephenville to win 34-31 over Tarleton State in the 2014 regular season final.

The win locked the home match for the Rams in the LSC Playoffs.

ASU trailed 24-6 when Kyle Washington hit Dakarai Pecikonis for a 55-yard touchdown that restarted with 6:10 left in the third quarter.

Pass a 4-page TD from Washington to Chris Omigie with 31 seconds left to complete a comeback.

An interception by Fred Lawrence in the Rams’ 10-page line ended Tarleton’s final effort.

Washington threw for 360 yards and four TDs with one INT at 28-of-49 passing. He also ran 93 yards.

Pecikonis has 8 catches for 136 yards and 2 TDs.

Rush Seaver has 16 tackles, while Blair Smith has 10 tackles.

7. ASU-Northwestern States 2019, Week 4

The Rams announced that they would be challengers in 2019 when they dominated the Midwestern state No. 28-6 No. 14 in a 3-0 team fight.

The ASU defense closed the Mustang during the first 46 minutes of the match. Midwestern scored with 1:56 left.

Linebacker Josh Quinton led the defense with 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception and 1 failed recovery.

Payne Sullins threw 263 yards and 3 TDs at 15-from-27 passing with 2 INT.

Keke Chism has 6 catches for 129 yards and 2 TDs.

Caleb King rushed for 77 yards, while Lloyd Howard had 66.

ASU finally built an 8-1 record with a national ranking as high as No. 1 before the Rams dropped their last two matches this year.

8. ASU-Texas A&M Kingsville 2015, Week 7

Kyle Washington threw a 16 yard touchdown at Trey Green with 11 seconds left to give the Rams a 39-34 victory over Texas A & M-Kingsville at the end of the 2015 season.

That was the change of the sixth lead in a round and round match.

The game was the most important for ASU, which came from back-to-back losses after achieving a national ranking as high as No. 6

Washington had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 367 yards and four TDs on 29-of-37 passes.

He also brought the ball 21 times for 95 yards and TD.

Ryan Byrd ran for 106 yards and TD, while Anthony Pierson led the receiving corps with 7 catches for 114 yards and 2 TDs. Donovan Thompson added 5 catches for 92 yards.

9. ASU-North Michigan 2016, Week 2

Rams really make it interesting when they play in Michigan.

In addition to their Decade Game, they also had a 47-41 triple-overtime thriller against Northern Michigan in a non-conference match in Marquette, Michigan at the start of the 2016 season.

ASU was led by 17 points in the middle of the third quarter, but the Wildcats did not want to leave.

Northern Michigan fought back and sent a game to score Tyler Blackburn’s 49-yard field goal on the bell.

After the team traded a pair of goals, ASU player Fred Lawrence intercepted the final zone in the third PL.

The Rams only needed a field goal to win it, but they finished it with Josh Stevens Josh’s 1-yard run.

ASU was involved in another three-time overtime game in 2011 but appeared short against Texas A & M-Kingsville, 36-33.

10. ASU-Texas A&M Commerce 2013, Week 9

In a season when victory is hard to come by, ASU’s Blair Smith intercepted the bait with 58 seconds left to secure a 25-20 defeat on the road against Texas A & M-Commerce.

The Rams got a phenomenal effort from their defense with 10 sacks, the biggest since recording 12 against Texas A & M-Kingsville in 2000.

Matthew Gholston and Rush Seaver finished with three sacks each for ASU. They are also the leading Rams tackler with eight each.

Sophomore QB Kyle Washington finished 14 of 24 passes for 143 yards and two TDs against one pick. He was more effective as a runner, ending with 116 yards in 15 carries.

Jermie Calhoun added 21 carries for 61 yards and a pair of TDs for ASU – including game winners from 11 yards with 1:30 to play.

The game also marks a turning point for ASU. The Rams had lost six of the seven matches before that day. They won 15 of the next 18, starting with that victory.

Honorable Call

These games almost solved the Top 10 for Rams:

ASU-Texas A&M Commerce 2012: After trailing 13-0 in the first round, the Rams entertained their fans at homecoming with a 17-16 comeback victory limited by Jarred Martin’s field goal with 6:55 remaining.

Angelo State-West Texas A&M 2019: In the 5-1 team meeting, ASU won 17-14 with a hard struggle. Payne Sullins connected with Austin Landry to pass the 67-yard TD in the final minutes of the third quarter, and a goalless fourth quarter followed.

ASU-Midwestern Country of 2014: The Rams knocked Mustangs 45-31 ranked 16th, winning at Wichita Falls for the first time since 1999. Quarterback Kyle Washington ran 250 yards and threw 169 yards and three TD. The two teams met again in the LSC Playoff semifinals, with ASU winning 41-36. Washington is sensational again with 268 passing yards and four TDs, along with 184 hurried yards and two TDs.

ASU-Western Oregon 2018: The Rams traveled to Monmouth, Oregon to kick off the 2018 season and win the last 24-17 minutes. ASU lagged 17-16 with 1:46 to play, but the Rams drove 67 yards in five plays – limited by a 16-yard TD pass from Charlie Rotherham to Lawson Come on with 52 seconds left.

2010 Angelo-Southeast States: Josh Neiswander was 37 of 60 for 355 yards and 4 TDs in a wild 40-33 Rams victory. He directed ASU on an 11-play, 77-page drive – ending it with a 3-page TD pass to Tristan Carter with 44 seconds left.

ASU-Texas A&M Kingsville 2016: The Rams went on the road and defeated their old rival 22-21 on a late TD with 3:28 left. Offensive midfielder Rance Layton recovered failed in the final zone to score the victory.

ASU-Texas A&M Commerce 2014: In their first meeting of the season, ASU and Commerce conducted an entertaining skirmish that led to the final match. A 32 yard field goal failed because time ran out, allowing Commerce to hold on to a 41-40 victory. The Rams defeated Commerce 35-33 in a rematch to win the LSC Playoff Championship.

ASU-Tarleton State 2015: It seems almost impossible to look at the final score – ASU 57, Tarleton 24 – but the Rams really fell behind 24-21 at the end of the third quarter. ASU beat Texas with a score of 36-0 in the last game 19:03. The Rams finished with 684 yards, the second largest in school history.

ASU-Incarnate Word 2013: Some might call the Rams 7-0 victory over the Incarnate Word in the 2013 final ugly, but it’s a beautiful thing for ASU. That gave the Rams a three-game winning streak to end this year, which catapulted them to their best season in 2014. Quinn Reels turned the spade bait from Kyle Washington into an 85-page touchdown with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. The Defense Rams posted their first shutout since 2011.

ASU-UT Permian Basin 2016 and ’17: The Rams set program records for points scored in seasons against the Falcons. They won 70-21 in 2016, breaking records in 1993 when ASU defeated Fort Lewis 69-0. The Rams also recorded their longest passing game in the game, when quarterback Jake Faber hit Mark Munson with a score of 99 yards. In 2017, ASU broke the record score again in a 74-24 victory. The defense has three back interceptions for touchdowns by Justin Jackson, Hunter Kyle and Donavyn Jackson.

More: San Angelo Central’s 10 best soccer matches of the decade

More: 10 best San Angelo Lake View football matches this decade

More: Top 10 Decade of Football Games in West Texas (1A-3A)

Charles Bryce is a journalist who covers sports in West Texas. Send him a news tip at [email protected] Consider supporting West Texas journalism by subscribing to GoSanAngelo.com.



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