No. 10 Buffs trample Hounds

CNJ staff

CANYON, Texas — Unlike the previous two years, there was no real suspense in Saturday’s Wagon Wheel clash between Lone Star Conference South Division rivals Eastern New Mexico University and West Texas A&M.

Junior quarterback Keith Null threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns and running back Keithon Flemming rushed for 145 yards and three scores as the 10th-ranked Buffaloes remained unbeaten with a 62-31 thrashing of ENMU.

WT (7-0, 3-0 South) beat the Greyhounds 52-51 in overtime in 2005 and rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to eke out a 21-14 win in last year’s matchup at Blackwater Draw.

In this one, though, the Buffs piled up 599 total yards and didn’t even score in the final period.

The game drew a crowd of 23,276 to Kimbrough Stadium, just over the then-NCAA Division II record 22,693 set in the 2005 clash.

ENMU (4-3, 0-3) finished with 297 total yards, but WT held LSC rushing leader Michael Benton to 45 yards on the ground. Benton’s only completion went for a touchdown, a 41-yard strike to Jessie Poku in the second quarter that ended a 20-point Buffs scoring run.

ENMU, which absorbed its third loss in a row after a 4-0 start, took the lead following the opening kickoff, driving 64 yards in 11 plays for freshman Jordan Walker’s 34-yard field goal. The Buffs came back with a 42-yard field goal by Jon Roberts to tie it, then took a 10-3 lead late in the first period on a 17-yard run by Wayne McKnight.

After Poku’s score, Null’s 7-yard TD pass to Carl Johnson and a 3-yard TD run by Flemming made it 34-10 at halftime. ENMU got scoring runs of 12 yards by Tim Hammett and 63 yards by J.J. Jennings in the third quarter, but could not keep up as the Buffs scored four times for a 62-24 lead late in the third.

Backup QB Anthony Ramos capped a five-play, 39-yard ENMU drive with a 14-yard touchdown run early in the final period to finish out the scoring.

Sophomore linebacker Brandon Haug was ENMU’s leading tackler with 13, including four solo stops. Senior linebacker Tony Johnson had six solo tackles and four assists.