No. 4 Tarleton is alone atop the Lone Star Conference after taking down No. 23 Angelo State 30-13 in a battle of undefeated rivals at Memorial Stadium.
Both teams entered the game 4-0 and were ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense with over 45 points per game. However, it was the Texan defense - which came in ranked seventh in the nation in total defense - that held the high-powered Angelo State offense to only one touchdown.
Tarleton, the nation's top offense, put up over 420 yards for the fifth straight game and held the Rams, who came in averaging over 450 yards a game, to only 349 yards. The win extended several winning streaks for the Texans, including the nation's longest home winning streak to 11 games. It's also the 15th straight regular season win for Tarleton dating back to 2018.
Daniel McCants once again sparked the Texan offense in a hurry to start the game. The senior running back bolted up the middle on the game's first drive for a 48-yard touchdown run. McCants, who entered the game tops in the nation in yards per carry at 9.8, ran for a game-high 158 yards on 23 carries. McCants has ran for over 100 yards in all four games he's played in.
After a 7-0 first-quarter lead, the Texans added a second touchdown of the half on a 21-yard strike to DeShun Qualls for a 13-0 lead. Qualls, who celebrated his birthday the day before, had a season-high five catches for 54 yards and a score.
Angelo State managed a pair of field goals late in the second quarter, sending the Texans to the locker room up 13-6.
The Texan defense came up big in the third quarter when the offense was struggling by forcing two Angelo State turnovers. After a Texan turnover of their own, the Rams were deep in the Texan redzone when Ronnell Wilson intercepted Payne Sullins' pass at the one-yard line to preserve a 13-6 lead. Wilson finished with six tackles and one for a loss to go with the pick.
Later in the third quarter with the same score, BJ Jefferson sacked Sullins and forced a fumble at midfield that was recovered by Tank Morgan. The fumble recovery led to a 23-yard field goal by Christian Hernandez for a 16-6 advantage. Jefferson, who has already won LSC Defensive Player of the Week this season, finished with a game-high 13 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. Jai Edwards (11) and ChadWick Thibodeaux (10) joined Jefferson with double-digit tackles.
The Texan offense rewarded the defense late in the third quarter. Facing a 4th-and-4, Holmes connected with Zimari Manning for a 21-yard touchdown that gave the Texans some breathing room heading into the fourth quarter with a 23-6 lead. Manning led all players with eight receptions for 78 yards and a score.
In the fourth quarter, Khalil Banks helped chew up the clock with an 11-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 4-yard TD run. The LSC rushing touchdown leader with eight scores finished the game with 97 yards on 17 carries.