Hounds dominate Lincoln
Last updated 10/5/2021 at 3:43pm
PORTALES - It didn't take long Saturday night to see that the first-year Lincoln (Calif.) Oaklanders were overmatched by Eastern New Mexico University.
Junior wide receiver Martavius Dill turned a swing pass into a 60-yard touchdown on the Greyhounds' opening play from scrimmage, the ENMU defense forced six consecutive three-and-outs to start the contest and the end result was a 52-6 thumping at Greyhound Stadium.
ENMU (2-3), which has played four of its first five games at home, now heads into the meat of a schedule which will send the team on the road four times over the next six weeks.
"We always approach every game like it's a business trip," said sophomore defensive end Mazin Richards, who was in on four tackles - all sacks for losses totaling 37 yards. "We have one goal and that's to win the game. We want to win as many games as we can this year."
Overall, the Hounds compiled 457 total yards while holding the Oaklanders (1-4) to 203. Lincoln's only score came when it took advantage of a breakdown in the ENMU secondary to score on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Cameron Burston to wide receiver Lamar Housely late in the half.
After falling behind 17-0 early before rallying late to force overtime in a 31-24 loss Lone Star Conference at 15th-ranked Midwestern State the week before, ENMU coach Tye Hiatt said a quick getaway was a point of emphasis during the week.
"I was really happy we started fast," he said. "One of the big things we've got to do is execute at a high level no matter who we're playing."
Freshman quarterback Nate Valencia had a couple of passes picked off, but still threw for 259 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters. Three of the TD tosses were to senior wide-out Justin Manyweather, who missed the Midwestern tilt with an ankle injury.
Manyweather finished with seven catches for 111 yards, while Dill grabbed three for 103. Melrose freshman tight end Devon Bailey scored his first collegiate touchdown early in the final stanza on a 43-yard pass play with backup QB Harper Terry.
Manyweather said Valencia is developing confidence in his other receivers, and that aspect may have been helped when he missed the previous week's contest.
"Nate has depended on me," said Manyweather, who also had a 35-yard kickoff return and three punt returns for 57 yards. "I think that (Midwestern) game showed he can put his faith in others. That game was a big boost for us."
Freshman running back Tafari Gomillion saw extensive duty, primarily in the second half, and led the Hounds in rushing with 21 carries for 76 yards and a pair of scores.
In what turned into a marathon lasting nearly four hours, the two sides combined for nearly 300 yards in penalties. Lincoln had 20 walkoffs for 191 yards, including several for personal fouls, and saw two players ejected in the span of three plays during the final stanza.
"I didn't expect any of that," Manyweather said of the at-times-testy play. "I'm just glad we got the victory tonight."
Rival Western New Mexico looms on Saturday at Silver City. The Mustangs are just 1-4 so far (0-3 LSC) after a 62-3 drubbing at Angelo State on Saturday, but it would help make their season if they could upend the Hounds.
"I think (Lincoln) was a great look for us," Hiatt said of the Oaklanders' propensity to throw the ball. "Western New Mexico has been passing the ball about 50 times a game. Their quarterback (Devin Larsen) is a transfer from Iowa State who throws the ball a lot.
"I think they're a team that's improving every week."
Richards said ENMU needs the same mentality it had against the Oaklanders.
"We said earlier this week, 'Don't take anybody lightly,'" he said. "When we're playing our best, we can play with anybody.