SAN ANGELO, TEXAS – The No. 26-ranked Angelo State Rams got 152 yards and a touchdown from sophomore reserve back Alfred Grear and played strong defense to down No. 21 University of Nebraska at Kearney, 20-7, Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in San Angelo, Texas.
The second-seeded Rams (11-2), from the Lone Star Conference, advance to the regional finals where they’ll face top-seed Colorado School of Mines (11-1). The Orediggers will host that game after whipping Bemidji (Minn.) State today in Golden, Colorado, 55-6.
UNK ends the year at 10-3, just the third time in school history a squad reached double digits in wins.
“It’s pretty incredible. Take a group that four years ago won one game in 22 tries and then this group comes in and did what they did this year. I’m proud of the effort, I’m proud of the rebuild and Loper football will be back,” said UNK head coach Josh Lynn.
Angelo, now on a seven-game win streak, scored the first 20 points before the Lopers made things a bit interesting down the stretch. Late in the third quarter redshirt junior safety Darius Swanson (Aurora, Colo.) recorded his fourth interception of the season and that allowed the offense to take over at the ASU 39-yard line. A 30-yard run from senior back Dayton Sealey (Hastings St Cecilia) followed and then he had two more carries, the second being a five-yard scoring scamper. It came at the 6:21 mark of the third and gave the Lopers life.
“I thought defensively we played valiantly. Take away the 60 yard run and it’s a one score game,” said Lynn. “Angelo is a good football team and they played well today. The Lopers, especially offensively, didn’t play good enough to win today.”
"To do what you guys have done, with the UNK Lopers, is the biggest success story I've been associated with. I'm proud of ya. God I'm proud of ya." – @UNK_Football @CoachJoshLynn addresses the team after Saturday's playoff loss to Angelo State. pic.twitter.com/YPt2keAYZi
— UNK (@UNKearney) November 28, 2021