SAN ANGELO - Scott Grantham picked apart the Angelo State defense, and Tarleton State held the Rams to only 52 rushing yards in a 38-10 win in Lone Star Conference South Division play Saturday.
Grantham completed 21 of 33 passes for 331 yards and a touchdown. He also tossed one interception.
Without 1,000-yard rusher Daniel Thomas, the Angel State running game was no match for a Tarleton defense that was eager to bury memories of the 10 touchdowns it allowed to Abilene Christian last week.
The win keeps Tarleton (9-1, 4-1) in contention for co-championships in the Lone Star Conference and the LSC South, and for a playoff spot in the Southwest Region.
Tarleton hosts No. 4 West Texas A&M next Saturday, marking the third consecutive year the Texans and Buffaloes have played a season finale with championship and post season implications on the line.
Tarleton took control with early rushing touchdowns by Roderick Smith and Michael Sampson.
Sampson finished with 63 yards on 13 carries while Smith carried the ball eight times for 49 yards.
Stephenville-native George Murray’s second touchdown run of the season gave the Texans a commanding 21-0 advantage in the second quarter before an Angelo State field goal made it 21-3 at the half.
Tarleton ended all suspense with a 10-play, 78-yard drive to begin the second half. Travis Evans finished it off with his fifth scoring run of the year.
Stephen Arnold’s 10th field goal of the season came from 46 yards away to make it 31-3 before the teams traded touchdowns in the fourth, with the Tarleton score coming on a pass from Grantham to Jason Mathais.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.