LIONS HEAD TO SAN ANGELO FOR SATURDAY SHOWDOWN WITH RAMS
A&M-Commerce Lions at Angelo State Rams
Saturday, October 20 • 4 p.m.
San Angelo Stadium • San Angelo, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (1-5, 1-3 LSC); Angelo State (3-4, 2-2 LSC)
Its back on the road this week for A&M-Commerce, looking to notch its first road victory of the season as the Lions head west, taking on Angelo State at 4 p.m. Saturday, October 20 at San Angelo Stadium.
Lions on the Web
Fans unable to make it to San Angelo this week for the Lions showdown with the Rams can still stay up to date on every Lion play this weekend. KETR 88.9 FM will call the game live, with Charlie Chitwood and Brock Callaway on the call, as well as online at KETR.org. Live video of the game will be available with a subscription through AngeloSports.com with live statistics available at LionAthletics.com.
Scouting the Rams
2012: 3-4 overall, 2-2 Lone Star Conference (4th), 2-2 home
Last Three Games: L at Midwestern State (35-28), L vs. West Texas A&M (35-9), W at Eastern New Mexico (49-19)
Head Coach: Will Wagner (Hardin-Simmons, 1996). Second season at Angelo State (8-10, .444)
Key Offensive Players:
• #12 Blake Hamblin (Jr., QB): 136-of-228 for 1,582 yards (59.6%), 13 TDs, 8 INTs, long of 89; 43 rushes for 135 yards (3.1 avg.), 3 TDs
• #34 Jermie Calhoun (Jr., RB): 67 rushes for 268 yards (4.0 avg.), 1 TD, long of 21
• #2 Donavan Roberts (Sr., RB): 57 rushes for 182 yards (2.8 avg.), 2 TD, long of 21
• #6 Dakari Pecikonis (Jr., WR): 40 catches for 422 yards (10.6 avg.), 3 TDs, long of 43
• #15 C.J. Akins (Sr., WR): 36 catches for 621 yards (17.2 avg.), 6 TDs, long of 89
Key Defensive Players:
• #40 Rush Seaver (So., LB): 70 tackles (37 solo), 5.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 INTs
• #24 Alvin Johnson (Sr., DB): 51 tackles (22 solo), 2.0 TFL, 3 PBU, 3 PD
• #44 Austin Sparks (R-Fr., LB): 39 tackles (14 solo), 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 3 PD
• #98 Clayton Callicutt (Fr., DL): 36 tackles (15 solo), 6.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 QBH
• #5 Austin Benson (Sr., DE): 28 tackles (17 solo), 7.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 2 QBH
Key Special Teams Players:
• #37 Jared Martin (Sr., K): 4-of-7 FGs (57.1%), long of 40; 21-of-21 PATs (100.0%)
• #16 Joseph Pickett (Fr., P): 29 punts for 1,1175 yards (40.5 avg.), long of 66, 9 I-20, 8 50+
• #6 Dakari Pecikonis (Jr., WR): 11 kick returns for 266 yards (24.2 avg.), long of 36; 4 punt returns for 42 yards (10.5 avg.), long of 28
• #1 Paul Mason (So., DB): 6 punt returns for 20 yards (3.3 avg.), long of 17; 8 kick returns for 130 yards (16.2 avg.), long of 25
Synopsis: Angelo State has had a favorable schedule in 2012 as five of its first eight games have been at home where the Rams are 2-2 on the year, including a 28-23 victory over Abilene Christian on September 22. After going 1-2 in non-conference play, Angelo State is 2-2 in the LSC, coming off back-to-back losses to West Texas A&M (35-9) and at Midwestern State (35-28), the top two teams in the Lone Star Conference standings.
Saturday marks the 42nd meeting between A&M-Commerce and Angelo State as the two teams have squared off every year since the series began in 1970 with the lone exception of 2005. The Rams hold a 25-14-2 edge in the all-time series and have won the last three meetings against the Lions, including last season's 45-14 victory over A&M-Commerce at Memorial Stadium. The Lions are 5-13-1 all-time against the Rams in San Angelo with the last win at San Angelo Stadium coming in a 17-9 victory in 2006.
Defense the Name of the Game
One of the keys to Saturday's game will be which offense can get rolling the quickest, especially the passing game. Heading into the week, Angelo State ranks second in the Lone Star Conference in total defense, allowing just 320.4 yards per game, compared to A&M-Commerce's 382.3 yards per game, ranking seventh. The Rams rank first in pass defense (165.3 ypg) while the Lions sit third (171.5 ypg), compared to sixth for Angelo State (155.1) and ninth for A&M-Commerce (210.8) in rushing defense. Both squads rank among the top-20 nationally in passing defense with Angelo State ranking 12th and A&M-Commerce sitting 19th.
Mason Sets Sights on Lion Tackle Record
One of the key factors to the Lion defensive unit this year has been senior linebacker Danny Mason, who has been all over the field for A&M-Commerce. Through the first six games of the 2012 season, Mason has notched 69 tackles, bringing his career total to 234 as he sits 63 tackles shy of Jesse Brooks' (1999-02) program record of 297 tackles. He continues to lead the Lone Star Conference in tackles per game (11.5), notching three 10-plus tackle games this season, while ranking eighth nationally.
Frosch Looking to Make His Mark on Lion Record Book
Junior punter Cameron Frosch was one of the Lions' highlights Saturday night against Tarleton State, booting eight punts for 359 yards and averaging 44.9 yards per punt, including a long of 58. Through the first six games of the season, Frosch is averaging 41.6 yards per punt, which is currently the seventh-highest single-season total in program history and 1.3 yards behind Will Schale's 42.9 program record in 1998. Frosch currently ranks third in the Lone Star Conference and 21st nationally in punting average.
First Quarter Woes Continue
A&M-Commerce has struggled to find its groove early in games all season as the Lions have yet to score a point in the first quarter in 2012. The Lions currently sit at seven-straight games without scoring a first-quarter point, dating back to the 2011 season finale at West Texas A&M, being outscored 71-0 during that span. On the flip side, Angelo State has found success early in games, recording 44 points in the opening 15 minutes, its second-most productive quarter of the season.
What Is On The Line This Week
Heading into this weekend's game at Angelo State, the Lions have a handful of streaks they are looking to bring to a halt. A&M-Commerce is looking for its first win over Angelo State since 2008, a span of three games, as well as its first win in San Angelo since 2006. The Lions are seeking their first road victory since a 31-30 win at Central Oklahoma in 2010, a span of nine games, as well as their first road victory against a Texas team since the 17-9 victory over the Rams in San Angelo in 2006, a span of 13 games.
Lions Among National Leaders
Through the first half of the 2012 season, a number of Lions remain among the nation's leaders in a number of categories. Senior linebacker Danny Mason continues to lead the LSC in tackles per game at 11.5, ranking eighth in the nation. Mason is also tied for 29th in tackles for loss (1.58) and tied for 64th in sacks (0.58). Punter Cameron Frosch ranks third in the conference and 21st nationally in punting, averaging 41.6 yards per punt, while punt returner Israel Hughes is 51st in punt returns, averaging 7.17 yards per return. Offensively, wide receiver Garrett Smith has emerged as one of the Lions' go-to receivers as his 5.2 catches per game puts him 78th nationally.
With the 2012 season entering the stretch run, A&M-Commerce will benefit from having two of its final three games of the season at Memorial Stadium, beginning with a Homecoming showdown with Abilene Christian on Saturday, October 27th. The game against the Wildcats kicks off at 2 p.m., with the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees being recognized at halftime before the Induction Ceremony that evening. The Lions then close out the season with a road trip to Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, November 3rd, before the 2012 season finale against West Texas A&M at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, November 10th.
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