Bods look for redemption in Heart of Texas Bowl

Ichabods practice for the Heart of Texas Bowl in Copperas Cove, Texas

Bryan Grabauskas

The Washburn football team’s season will continue after wrapping up their regular season in a game against Emporia State Nov 11.

The Ichabods will be travelling to Copperas Cove, Texas to challenge the Angelo State University Rams. These two teams will face off in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart Of Texas Bowl Dec 2 at 6 pm.

The Ichabods season didn’t finish quite the way they envisioned back in the fall. The team started the season off fast, winning five of their first six games. After their 6-1 start, the team dropped two consecutive games against Fort Hays State and UCM.

They rebounded by defeating Missouri Western State, but were then defeated by both Central Oklahoma and Emporia State to finish the season. They still finished with a winning season earning both an overall and conference record of 6-5.

“We started off pretty well, but then the season just fell apart,” said Jake Lyon, freshman lineman. “When we found out we got a bowl game, it revitalized us, like, ‘let’s end this thing right’.”

The Ichabods are looking forward to this game as a chance to redeem themselves after what they felt was a disappointing end to the season.

“We’re looking at it as another opportunity to just get a win because the last few games haven’t gone our way,” said Trey Parker, senior defensive tackle. “So we want to end things right so we’re looking at it as a possibility for a bright moment to end the season.”

The Angelo State Rams are practically a mirror, reflecting the Ichabods season back at them. They started the season with a pair of wins, but then lost four of their next five games. However, down the stretch of their season, the Rams put their head down and charged through three straight victories to finish with a record of 6-4.

Both teams finished with similar records, but they got to the same point by different paths. Washburn started fast and struggled down the stretch. Angelo State did the opposite and finished strong after a slump early in the season.

These two teams also mirror each other in another surprising way. Angelo State has played much better at home, winning five games against only two losses. Away from home, the Rams lost two games while only winning one. On the other hand, Washburn has disappointed at home while performing much better on the road. 

The Ichabods won four games in opponent territory, while only losing two. These statistics lend to the idea that Washburn may have a bit of an advantage heading into this game.

Seeing as the game will be played in Texas, it may seem that Angelo State would have the advantage of playing at home, but that may not be the case. Angelo State plays their games in San Angelo, Texas. The bowl game is being held in Copperas Cove, Texas, which isn’t very close to San Angelo. The trip from San Angelo to Copperas Cove is a three hour drive, being around 175 miles away. Washburn is clearly the away team, but Angelo State are also a road team in this scenario.

Washburn and Angelo State have never played each other before, so this game will definitely provide a new look for Washburn, who has only played opponents from the MIAA this season. 

The Rams also played primarily in their conference this season, only playing two teams from other conferences. Both teams will be faced with new challenges in this game. Washburn has played against a team from the Lone Star conference previously, defeating Midwestern State in the 2010 Kanza Bowl 45-14.

Washburn has a bowl record of 4-2. They won the 1986 Aztec Bowl, the 2004 Mineral Water Bowl and the 2010 Kanza Bowl. They were defeated in the 1976 Boot Hill Bowl and the 2016 Mineral Water Bowl.

Angelo State has a bowl record of 2-3. They went to four bowl games as San Angelo College in 1950, 1951, 1955 and 1960. They lost the 1972 Ardmore Shrine Bowl, their most recent bowl game appearance.