Hounds ride stifling defense

CNJ staff

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Quarterback Steven Hinson passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third as Eastern New Mexico University wore out Northeastern State University, 24-10, on Saturday in a Lone Star Conference Crossover game at Doc Wadley Stadium.
About 3,500 fans watched as the Greyhounds ran their record to 3-0, while dropping the Redmen to 1-2.
ENMU never trailed in the game and led 24-3 midway through the third quarter.
Eastern’s ground game rolled up 183 yards on 56 carries. Hinson rushed for 72 yards on 25 carries. The junior signal caller also completed nine-of-16 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
But ENMU head coach Bud Elliott said his defense was the key in victory.
“We had some great hits,” Elliott said. “They threw a little screen in the flat several times and we were hitting them so hard over there, we forced two fumbles.”
The Hounds controlled the ball almost 12 minutes more than Northeastern, which lost four of six fumbles overall. Eastern’s first score — a 33-yard Lee Price field goal in the first quarter — came after a Northeastern fumble.
Elliott said ENMU’s defense and punter Steven Todd kept the Redmen in poor field position most of the game.
The game was tied 3-3 with nine minutes to play in the second quarter, but Hinson hit Derrick Hunter on a 9-yard touchdown pass 36 seconds before halftime and ENMU dominated the third quarter.
Hinson’s 7-yard scoring run with 9:51 left to play in the third period put the Hounds up 17-3 and Josh Quebe’s 24-yard scoring pass from Hinson put the game out of reach about three minutes later.
“We came out in the third quarter and really jumped on them,” Elliott said. “That’s when I felt the game was pretty much over.”
Dustin Workman made his Redmen debut as quarterback after replacing starter Forrest Mazey in the second half. Workman scored NSU’s only touchdown, a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter, and finished the game by completing 12-of-19 passes for 181 yards.
Sukora Cooper and Dwayne Davis helped Hinson in the ground-control game, carrying a combined 29 times for 109 yards.
Hunter caught six passes for a team-high 67 yards.
Milton Harris led NSU receivers with 96 yards, including one catch for 68 yards. Craig Fulton rushed for a Redman-high 70 yards.
Notes: Defensive back Randy Johnson may have suffered a slight ligament tear during Saturday’s game and will probably be out four weeks, Coach Elliott said. Johnson is a backup, but rotates in regularly and also plays on special teams. … Saturday’s win was the 196th in Elliott’s 35-year career. He is 59-39-2 in 10 years at Eastern.
The Hounds are 3-0 against NSU, including a 46-14 win in 2002. … Northeastern State will face Midwestern State next Saturday at 7 p.m. in Wichita Falls, in another LSC crossover game. … Eastern will host East Central University in an LSC crossover game on Saturday. Game time is 6 p.m.