By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
The ACU Wildcat football team took only two-and-a-half minutes to find the end zone in its Homecoming game against the Lone Star Conference’s best pass defense Saturday. ACU’s opponent and rival Angelo State answered more than 44 minutes later.
“We had a good plan and we executed it,” defensive coordinator Jason Johns said. “The way we controlled the ball on offense helped us shut them down.”
The No. 20 football team dominated the Angelo State Rams to extend its record to 6-0 for the first time since 1950 at its 35-7 Homecoming victory in front of the 13,369 people who filled Shotwell Stadium.
The last time ACU was 6-0 was when the “Singing Christians” of 1950 went 11-0 for the only flawless season in the school’s history.
“Any win you get is good,” head coach Chris Thomsen said. “The bottom line is that we have prepared ourselves and all the credit goes to the players and assistants.”
Despite playing the best pass defense in the conference, the Wildcats continued their balance offensively, with 225 passing yards and 233 rushing yards. Starting running backs Taber Minner and Chancy Campbell ran for a combined 198 yards and four touchdowns in the game, while quarterback Billy Malone threw for 211 yards and one touchdown to wide receiver John Brock.
“We don’t have to have 60 or 70 yard touchdown passes to win,” Malone said. “We play together; we’re a machine.”
That “machine” is first in the LSC in total defense, 22nd in the nation, second in total offense, 15th in the nation, and is tied for first place in conference with No. 6 West Texas A&M.
The Wildcat defense affirmed its ranking atop the LSC after holding the Rams to only 187 total yards and sacking Angelo State quarterbacks Jay Immel and Trey Weishuhn five times for a loss of 31 yards.
Cornerback Corey Jordan recorded the Wildcats’ only interception late in the second quarter after stealing the ball in the end zone to shut down the Rams’ only threatening drive. The Ram’s only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter.
“These guys work so hard,” Minner said. “The whole team is working harder than anyone in the nation right now.”
The Wildcats’ work is far from over though, as they head to Canyon to take on LSC defending champions and nationally ranked West Texas Thursday. ACU and West Texas are the only two teams nationally ranked in the LSC.
ACU has the best defense in the conference, leading in total defense, passing defense and turnover margin, but will be facing the number one pass offense in the conference. West Texas averages 330.9 passing yards and 32.1 points per game and have outscored their opponents 225-117.
The game will decide first place in the LSC South and will be nationally televised by College Sports TV and locally by KRBC, ACU cable channel five at 7 p.m.