ADA, Okla. — Junior running back King Bennett rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night as East Central defeated Eastern New Mexico University 33-14 in a Lone Star Conference crossover football game.
ECU (2-1) jumped in front 14-0 in the first 8 1/2 minutes and never let the Greyhounds (1-3) get closer than a touchdown. The Hounds hurt themselves with five turnovers, including four interceptions, and other mistakes at crucial times.
Bennett scored on runs of 3 yards in the first quarter, 6 yards in the second and 2 and 90 yards in the final period. Eastern pulled to 21-14 with 9:36 left in the game on an 11-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Steven Hinson to junior wide receiver Derrick Hunter, capping a 76-yard, 11-play drive, before Bennett helped the Tigers put the game out of reach.
East Central junior quarterback Wilson Pirtle completed 10-of-12 passes for 188 yards. ECU posted a 395-356 advantage in total offense.
The Tigers took advantage of a fumbled snap on the first possession of the game by Eastern punter Steven Todd, smothering him at the ENMU 13. Bennett scored four plays later on first-and-goal.
After a punt, ECU mounted a 66-yard, five-play scoring drive capped by Pirtle’s 18-yard scoring pass to junior wide receiver Matt Suffal for a 14-0 lead with 6:34 left in the quarter.
The Hounds broke through with 3:14 left in the half on Hinson’s 1-yard sneak, capping a 72-yard scoring match that chewed up more than eight minutes. But Pirtle hit Wilson for 37 yards on the first play after the kickoff, and Bennett went in from 6 yards out with 2:15 remaining until intermission to restore the Tigers’ 14-point cushion.
Despite sustaining three sacks, Hinson led ENMU on the ground with 14 carries for 60 yards. Hunter caught eight passes for 75 yards.