RiverHawks outlast Hounds in overtime

CNJ staff

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Junior wide receiver Trey McVay caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kenny Davis on Northeastern State’s first play in overtime, giving the RiverHawks a 43-40 Lone Star Conference North victory on Saturday over Eastern New Mexico and at least a share of the division title.

McVay caught three TD passes from Davis and finished with 12 receptions for 175 yards, all career highs. Davis tied a school record with five touchdown tosses for NSU (6-4, 5-1 North), going 20-of-38 for 279 yards and adding 56 yards and a touchdown rushing, as the RiverHawks earned their first North title since 2007.

ENMU (4-6, 3-3), which was hoping for a three-way share of the title with a win over the RiverHawks and an East Central loss at Texas A&M-Commerce, took a 40-37 lead on sophomore Taylor Cannon’s fourth field goal of the game, a 19-yarder in overtime. Sophomore quarterback Wes Wood went 29-of-42 for 345 yards, while receivers Jessie Poku and Darian Davis finished with 12 catches for 180 yards and seven for 109, respectively, and a touchdown reception apiece.

Wood also ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries while senior Tony Valenzuela had 101 yards rushing on 27 carries for the Greyhounds, who finished with a 497-446 margin in total offense.

Defensive backs Perron Sellers and Curtis Jackson were each in on 15 tackles for the Hounds, while linebacker Nathan Uland collected 13.

ENMU trailed 37-27 after a Davis-to-Edward Victorian TD pass for 14 yards early in the final quarter. The Hounds drove 65 yards and nine plays following the kickoff, and pulled to 37-34 on a 31-yard pass from Wood to Poku on a fourth-and-1 play.

The Hounds stopped the RiverHawks on downs at the ENMU 2 on their next possession, and an exchange of punts followed before ENMU drove 80 yards in 14 plays. With fourth-and-goal at the 3, an illegal procedure penalty set the Hounds back before Taylor tied in on a 23-yard field goal as time expired.

The Hounds had the first possession in OT, picking up a first down on a 15-yard pass from Wood to Poku. On third and goal from the 2, the RiverHawks stopped Valenzuela for no gain before Cannon booted the go-ahead 3-pointer.

NSU was penalized five yards to the 30 for illegal procedure on its first play in the extra session, but Davis escaped pressure from defensive end Matt Kalisch and found McVay for the winning score on the next snap.