Sometimes for this job you just have to make sacrifices. Sacrifices that take you way from friends and family, ruin your weekend plans or require you to suffer through long hours on the job standing for hours on end with no bathroom breaks. And then, there are times when the job just rocks. This last weekend was one of those times when something cool comes along and you get to go cover it.
For the second year in a row, the Angelo State University Rams got the chance to play under the lights of AT&T Stadium, formerly known as Cowboys Stadium, at the Lone Star Conference Football Festival.. (I really wish they would have left the name alone. Cowboys Stadium just seems to fit better.) This year they would be playing Colorado State University-Pueblo in the late game on Saturday evening. With a kickoff at 8:00pm it was going to be hard for us to meet the deadline restrictions of the paper, so for the initial story and photos, readers would have to go to the website. It's just one of the things we have to deal with since our paper is printed 90 miles away and driven by truck to the area.
I came into the game thinking that Angelo State had a reasonable chance of a good showing against CSU-Pueblo, and to some extent they did just that. They could have thrown in the towel when the No. 5-ranked CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves held a 21-3 lead at the half, but they came back out for the second half determined not to be the victims of a blowout.
Early in the third quarter ASU quarterback Kyle Washington rushed for a 78-yard touchdown that brought the Rams within 21-10. The defense held their ground against CSU-Pueblo allowing the Rams another offensive series which ended in a 16-yard pass from Washington to local Wall High School standout Brett Rasberry to get the Rams within 21-17 with 10:38 left to play in the third. Even though quarterback Kyle Washington would end the game with 20 of 34 passing for 173 yards and one touchdown, and rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, clearly making him the Rams' player of the game, the real exciting moment of the game for me came when ASU's junior linebacker Rush Seaver intercepted a pass in the end zone and ran it back 100 yards for an ASU score. I was standing around the 20-yard line on the opposite side of the field and as Seaver sped by I could tell his lungs were stinging for air. After reaching the end zone, instead of celebrating his record-tying Lone Star Conference interception, teammates had to hold him upright so he wouldn't collapse.
But a mark in the win column wasn't meant to be as the Rams fell 45-24. With every loss a team gains valuable experience and information. In the post-game interview head coach Will Wagner said, "I thought the momentum was starting to turn our way." "It was mental mistakes that really hurt us this evening. Our guys have got to understand that this isn't the end of the season and that we can build on this and learn from where we screwed up," he added. "We can do two things: We can hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves or we can come out Tuesday afternoon and go to work and figure out how to win the game."