Rams use running game to defeat D1 Abilene Christian in season finale

Alfred Grear and Rams total 414 rushing yards against former conference rival

By Chad Miller Jr.
On November 8, 2020

Photo by Madison Wallace: 
Sophomore Alfred Grear runs in a tocuhdown against Abilene Christian University. The ASU Rams improved in the all-time series against the Wildcats, extending their advantage to 29-23-1 in the series.

 

ASU traveled to Moody Coliseum in Abilene, Texas on Nov. 7 to take on former conference rival, now D1 opponent, Abilene Christian on a crisp Saturday afternoon.

 

The Rams came into the game on fire, scoring early and often in the first half. 

 After an opening drive punt, sophomore Alfred Grear kicked off the day’s scoring with a 61-yard rushing touchdown on ASU’s second offensive drive of the game. 

After forcing a Wildcat three-and-out, sophomore Nathaniel Omayebu took a handoff 22 yards to set up Grear for his second touchdown run from four yards out. 

 

“The O-line just really did their jobs and made it easier for me to just be able to be a playmaker,” Grear said following his performance.

 

The Rams defense continued to hold strong, stopping the Wildcats on four straight rushing plays to force a turnover on downs. 

The rushing attack would continue for ASU on the following offensive drive. 

Quarterback Zach Bronkhorst scampered for 38 total yards on the drive, and that led to the third straight Grear touchdown run from a yard out.

 

 After yet another strong defensive stop by the Rams, the ground attack did not end, as Bronkhorst, Omayebu and Grear got the call on a drive that was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown throw from Bronkhorst to junior Justin Pegues. 

Bronkhorst would finish the day 6/14 for 53 yards, a touchdown and an interception while running for 79 yards this afternoon.

 

Abilene Christian caught some offensive life before the end of the first half, driving 48 yards before scoring on a three-yard touchdown run. 

The Wildcats would receive the second-half kickoff and drive 71 yards on 13 plays, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass for their second straight touchdown.

 

ASU would be haunted by turnovers in the second half, as the Rams muffed a short kick to begin the second half which gave the ball back to the Wildcats.

ACU would then drive 29 yards for a touchdown that capped off ACU’s 21 straight unanswered points.

 

Hoping to respond, the ASU offense gave the ball to Grear who would take it 86 yards to the house but would be called back due to an illegal block in the back penalty. 

Eight plays later, Bronkhorst would be strip-sacked by ACU at the Wildcat 10-yard line.

 

On ASU’s next offensive drive, Bronkhorst would throw an interception at the Wildcat 16-yard line to keep ASU out of the end zone once again. 

The 4th quarter would become a defensive struggle, as there were five straight punts by both teams until Grear broke away on a 68-yard touchdown run, his fourth of the day, securing the Rams 34-21 win.

 

“It was very shocking to be in that situation,” Coach Adam Clark said regarding the team going up 28-7 at halftime. “Give credit to the kids for not flinching when adversity hit in the second half.”

 

ASU would run for 414 yards on the Wildcat defense.

Grear was the Rams' leading rusher, running 20 times for 247 yards and four touchdowns on the night, which is the most rushing yards for a Ram this season. 

 

This also places him fifth on the list for the school record for rushing yards in a game. 

 

Omayebu, Bronkhorst and freshman Zorhan Rideaux would all contribute to the total rushing totals.

Sophomore Daron Allman would be the Rams leading defender, securing seven tackles, four of them for a loss of yards as well as a sack. 

Seniors Darrick Dickerson and Leddy French both had six tackles, with French also contributing a sack on the night.

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