Midwestern State rolls past Hounds

CNJ staff

WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Balls were flying through the air — 101 in all — in Saturday’s Lone Star Conference South Division clash between Eastern New Mexico University and Midwestern State.

The homestandings Mustangs defintely had the better of it.

Midwestern State sophomore Zack Eskridge threw for six touchdowns — all to different receivers — and the Mustangs dominated early en route to a 59-16 win over the Hounds.

Eskridge set a school record and tied an LSC mark for TD tosses in a game, finishing 22-for-29 for 295 yards.

Meantime, ENMU freshman quarterback J.J. Harp set school records with 37 completions and 70 attempts. He threw a pair of scoring passes to freshman Matt Handler.

Both teams finished with 303 yards passing, but the Mustangs (6-3, 3-2 South) held the Hounds to minus-59 yards on the ground — primarily the result of seven sacks against Harp for 72 yards in losses.

ENMU (1-9, 0-6 South), which lost its eighth game in a row, put together two first downs following the opening kickoff before Handler fumbled following a 5-yard reception. Midwestern’s Emmanuel Bagley recovered at the Mustangs’ 47, and Eskridge capped a four-play drive with a 14-yard scoring pass to Mookie Davis.

Eskridge tacked on TD tosses of 36 yards to Armahd Lewis and 15 yards to BeeJay Mathis to make it 21-0 at the quarter.

Trailing 24-0, the Hounds got a 2-yard TD pass from Harp to Handler and a 32-yard field goal by Adam Richards to pull to 24-9 late in the half, but the Mustangs got a backbreaking score after ENMU turning the ball over on downs at the Midwestern 42 with 15 seconds left in the half.

Eskridge scrambled and found David Little down the middle near the ENMU 30, and he sprinted toward the right sideline to score as time ran out.

Harp hit Handler on a 6-yard TD pass with seven seconds left in the third period, pulling the Hounds to 45-16. Eskridge threw his final TD pass to Sasan Faradineh and Midwestern’s Neal Carr went in from three yards out in the final period to cap the scoring.

Midwestern State piled up 542 total yards, including 239 on the ground with Marcus Mathis rushing for 91 yards on only six attempts. Eleven receivers caught passes for the Mustangs, led by Davis with five catches for 44 yards and Little with four for 87.

Harp completed passes to 10 receivers, with freshman Darian Dale catching eight for 98 yards and Handler grabbing six for 48. Twenty-four of ENMU’s completions were to freshmen.

Defensive backs Reggie Butler and Jeremy Hibbler were each in on 10 tackles for the Hounds.

ENMU wraps up its season with a non-league contest against Oklahoma Panhandle State on Saturday at Goodwell, Okla.