The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Hounds moving on

 

October 16, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Eastern New Mexico lineman Mazin Richards tries to bring down Tarleton State running back Daniel McCants, but McCants gained enough leverage from the tackle attempt to stretch into the end zone for a touchdown in Saturday's 49-10 Tarleton State victory.

By Peter Stein

STAFF WRITER

[email protected]

PORTALES — It may seem on paper like a bit of culture shock, football-wise.

After enduring a 49-10 defeat against Tarleton State, the fourth-ranked Division II team in the country, ENMU next faces a Western New Mexico team that has had its struggles this season. So far the Mustangs are 1-5, though they did get that one victory against a Lone Star Conference opponent, UT Permian Basin, by a convincing 47-28 score on Oct. 5.

That, however, was followed by last week’s 31-14 road loss against Angelo State that dropped Western to 1-2 in LSC play.

Despite what the teams’ records might indicate, the Hounds don’t expect a pushover when this Saturday’s Chile Bowl kicks off at Ben Altamirano Field in Silver City (6 p.m.). Last weekend’s Angelo State loss was closer than the 17-point final margin indicated. It was tied at 14 early in the second quarter, and the Mustangs were down just 17-14 at halftime. Even after three quarters it was still a reasonable 24-14 difference. Angelo didn’t add the final touchdown until 1:55 remained in the game.

So Western might have actually gained some confidence from hanging in against an Angelo team whose only loss so far has been to national powerhouse Tarleton.

“They’re fired up,” ENMU head coach Kelley Lee said of the Mustangs. “They beat UTPB last week, they took Angelo State right down to the wire. … We’ve got to have a great week of practice and be ready to play. They’re always tough at their home stadium, so we’ve got to regroup and regroup fast.”

Both teams are coming off games in which turnovers helped seal their respective fates. Eastern’s second play from scrimmage against Tarleton State was a fumble returned for a touchdown. In the third quarter, a Greyhound interception and lost fumble each led to Tarleton touchdowns.

Western’s junior quarterback C.J. Fowler is having a decent season so far, completing 132-of-240 passes for 1,702 yards and 10 scores. Interceptions, though, have been somewhat of a factor, as Fowler has thrown eight so far, including a season-high three at Angelo State.

Fowler did pass for 337 yards against Angelo, marking the third time this year he has cracked the 300 mark. He stung Central Washington for a season-best 383 yards on Sept. 21, and put 344 on West Texas A&M a week later.

“They throw the ball really well,” Lee said, “which has proven to be a little challenging to us. … Our corners have got to play better, and our entire secondary.”

Eastern would also like to get its punishing running game rolling again. After racking up more than 2,000 rushing yards against their previous five opponents combined, the Greyhounds had a modest 173 against Tarleton last Saturday. ENMU senior Paul Terry did rush for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Texans, but quarterback Wyatt Strand was the Hounds’ second-leading rusher with 30.

That needs to get turned back around this week.

“Offensively, we’ve got to sustain drives,” Lee said. “Convert and get points on the board.”

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 11/08/2019 06:29