SAN ANGELO, TX. — As the Rams prep for their NCAA second round match-up with Bemidji State Saturday afternoon, a look back on the historic season that was for the Rams, as the journey to McKinney begins.

December 4th, 2021. Off one of the best seasons in program history, Angelo State saw their season come to an end against Colorado School of Mines in the NCAA Quarterfinals.

“There’s no doubt that loss left a bad taste in your mouth throughout the off-season,” said head coach Jeff Girsch.

An off-season the Rams looked to continue building toward the main goal, a National Championship

“It was a huge off-season for us in both preparation and recruiting and you could see it in spring ball and you could see it going through the season,” said Girsch.

A team that lost players, like every team does at the end of a season, but the group they had coming back knew they had something special

“We didn’t lose too many guys on offense and defense so we felt like we would have a pretty strong team and just guys buying into the process and everyone working together and hard throughout the summer and off-season,” said running back Nate Omayebu III.

The season would get started with a big home victory against Chadron State, and then, a re-match with the Orediggers who ended their season last year. A statement win early for the Rams, as Lone Star Conference play opened up

“Coming in and starting with that, we knew it was going to be a big game. We knew how good they were, we knew how good we were going to be. It ended up going really well and we were excited about that win,” said tight end Cason Brown.

Just past the halfway point, Angelo State would remain undefeated, setting up a showdown with Texas A&M Kingsville in a battle of perfect teams

“That game coming in we knew that was going to be the game to either make us or break us and that game ended up going really well for us and it affirmed some of the beliefs we had about our team moving forward,” said Brown.

Win after win, seeing their ranking move up to number two, the highest in program history, looking to clinch the outright title at home against Central Washington for the first time since 1984

“When you put in the work we have put in and you see it come to fruition its great, its a good feeling,” said Omayebu III.

With one game left, a lot left on the line for the Rams. A perfect season, a perfect conference record, and clinching a #1 seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament

“We knew going into that game capping it off with a win would mean a huge bye week for us which could get everyone healthy, we knew that going forward. That was huge,” said Brown.

The perfect season. The first since their move to Division II in 1981. The first outright conference title since 1984, with a group that is hungier than ever

“This staff is a bunch of workers. These guys are going to be happy with what we have done but not satisfied with it. They are going to continue to work hard and keep building on what we are doing,” said Girsch.

A season filled with goals, now just one more to cross off. Bring back a National title to San Angelo, the first since 1978 when the Rams were competing in NAIA play.

“It would mean everything. This is what we work for every year, all year round. Football is an all year round sport so this is what we work for, it’s what we grind for, blood sweat and tears and it would mean the world, honestly,” said Omayebu III.