WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Senior running back Ulysses Odoms rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns — including runs of 60 and 71 yards in the opening period — and Midwestern State kept its hopes alive for an NCAA Division II playoff berth on Saturday with a 29-19 Lone Star Conference South Division victory over Eastern New Mexico University.
The Mustangs (8-2, 3-2 South), ranked 23rd in NCAA Division II, play their regular-season finale next week at 19th-ranked Abilene Christian. Midwestern is currently seventh in the South West Region rankings, and must get into the top six to advance.
The Greyhounds (2-7, 1-5), who faced a nationally-ranked South opponent for the third time in the last four games, wrap up their campaign on Saturday with a non-league home tilt against Oklahoma Panhandle State.
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Odoms broke a 60-yard run on Midwestern’s second possession, capping an 80-yard drive in just three plays. But ENMU pulled to 6-2 when it blocked Ben White’s PAT kick and junior linebacker Brandon Harper returned it for a 2-point defensive conversion.
After Lee Price’s 65-yard punt sailed into the end zone for a touchback, the Mustangs faced third-and-1 at the ENMU 29 when Odoms went inside and broke it all the way for his second long TD run. A two-point conversion failed.
Odoms then finished off a 15-play, 71-yard drive midway through the second quarter with a 1-yard run, and Kristen Foster added a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the half to make it 22-2.
Quarterback Daniel Polk scored on a 20-yard run, capping a 79-yard drive, early in the third period. Price kicked a 39-yard field goal for ENMU later in the quarter, and quarterback Michael Benton added a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs for the Hounds in the final nine minutes.
Benton’s second TD came as time expired, and officials did not allow ENMU to attempt the extra point.
Polk finished 13-for-19 for 148 yards for the Mustangs, and added 62 yards on 14 carries. Midwestern posted a 455-291 advantage in total offense.
Benton carried 27 times for 183 yards, including two sacks. Meantime, Price punted seven times for a 46.6-yard average, including four boots of more than 50 yards.
Linebackers Jeremy Mullins and Brandon Haug were each in on three solo tackles and nine overall stops for the ENMU defense.