BLACKWATER DRAW — At times Saturday, it looked like Angelo State could have named its score.
Picked for sixth place — two slots ahead of Eastern New Mexico University — in the nine-team Lone Star Conference this season, the Rams scored on an 89-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Blake Hamblln to senior wide-out C.J. Akins on their first play from scrimmage and cruised to a 49-19 win in ENMU's Homecoming game at Greyhound Stadium.
"Our kids played well," ASU coach Will Wagner said. "They could've come out flat off a big win (over then-nationally-ranked Abilene Christian last week), but they came out ready."
How dominant was Angelo? The Rams outgained ENMU 527-216, averaging 8.6 yards per play, and went 9-for-11 on third-down conversions — converting one of those when backup quarterback Kyle Washington stretched over the goal for a 1-yard TD on fourth down in the final period.
They scored on their first three possessions, then went up 28-3 when linebacker Rush Seaver returned an interception of quarterback Wes Wood's pass 25 yards for a touchdown.
Ironically, that was Wood's first INT of the season and only the third turnover for ENMU, which lost two fumbles in a season-opening loss at New Mexico Highlands.
Simply put, the Hounds were outmanned — and they didn't play well on top of that.
"We got two blown (pass) coverages early, and that put us down 14-3," ENMU coach Josh Lynn said. "We've got to be able to establish drives and keep our defense off the field."
Angelo appears to be nothing if not deep — the Rams played four quarterbacks, while 10 players had at least one rushing attempt and eight caught at least one pass. Seven players accounted for one touchdown apiece.
It was too many weapons for the Hounds.
"We knew we could get (ENMU) on one-on-one situations," Wagner said. "If starts with our offensive line giving Blake enough time to get back and throw."
Hamblin threw only 10 passes, completing seven, before coming out at halftime after getting dinged slightly. Wagner said he could have played if needed in the second half.
Calhoun, who did not start, led the Rams with 62 rushing yards on 10 attempts, while Akins finished with four catches for 160 yards.
"They did a good job of taking us out of our game early," Lynn said. "They made us play catch-up the whole game.
"We're going through some growing pains. We've got to be able to mature on the fly."