Hounds post record-setting romp

CNJ staff

GOODWELL, Okla. — As anticipated, Eastern New Mexico University’s football finale on Saturday was a relative walk in the park.

The Greyhounds broke five school records — two by senior quarterback Michael Benton — and rolled to a 52-0 victory over winless Oklahoma Panhandle State, snapping their own six-game losing streak.

Benton rushed 19 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns, finishing the season with 1,458 yards to break the school’s single-season mark of 1,451 set by Tom Manley in 1974. He also eclipsed his own single-season TD mark of 17, set two years ago, with 18.

As a team, the Hounds (5-6) broke their school single-season rushing mark of 3,333 yards, finishing with 3,444. The other mark was for rushing yards allowed in a game — they held Panhandle (0-10) to a minus-50 on the ground with the help of 13 sacks — four by senior linebacker Kenneth Odie — for 98 yards in losses.

Benton capped long drives with scoring runs of 16 and 4 yards in the first quarter, staking the Hounds to a quick 13-0 lead. Then, senior Kyle Harris and junior Tim Hammett returned punts 75 yards for touchdowns in the first three minutes of the second quarter.

Hammett also finished with three TDs, scoring on runs of 35 yards late in the second quarter and 25 yards early in the third. Benton then got his record touchdown with a 40-yard run later in the third period, two plays after a short punt set ENMU up in Aggies territory.

The Hounds’ other points came on a safety when Ron Feaster blocked an Aggies punt which OPSU recovered in its own end zone, and on a 31-yard field goal by freshman Jordan Walker midway through the second quarter.