By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers
BLACKWATER DRAW — A subtle switch helped Eastern New Mexico University turn around Saturday’s Lone Star Conference South Division clash with unbeaten Angelo State.
Trailing 14-7 early, the Greyhounds employed what they called their “Lobo Defense” — using two linebackers on the line of scrimmage to apply more pressure on the quarterback. The Hounds limited the Rams to eight first downs and 77 yards over the final three quarters in rolling to a 38-14 victory.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Benton rushed for 143 yards and four touchdowns as ENMU (4-2, 2-0 South) won its fourth game in a row.
Meantime, the defense cause fits for Angelo quarterback Trey Weishuhn. Weishuhn started hot, but was sacked five times and finished the game 14 of 25 passing after completing six of her first seven passes.
“We ran our ‘emergency defense — Plan B,” ENMU coach Mark Ribaudo said. “It just worked out that it was the right one for this game.”
Benton scored on runs of 1 yard and 2 yards in the second quarter, then added scores from 15 and 3 yards in the final period. ENMU finished with 337 yards rushing and 455 overall while dropping the Rams (5-1, 1-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“They’ve got a real good ballclub,” first-year ASU coach Dale Carr said. “Coach Ribaudo has done a good job.
“They started blitzing and we weren’t picking it up. Their kids just played hard and smart.”
Angelo put together two lengthy scoring drives in the first quarter for a 14-7 lead. After Roland Daniels blocked a field goal try by ENMU’s Lee Price, the Rams went 56 yards in five plays and scored on a 15-yard run by senior Alexis Cooper with 8:25 left in the period.
The Hounds answered with an 87-yard, 13-play drive capped by fullback Patrick Hemphill carried in from 5 yards out on a trap play. Cooper then returned the kickoff 35 yards to the 50 and, seven plays later, Weishuhn found tight end Justin Carter in the left corner on a 15-yard TD pass.
But Eastern’s defense came alive in the second quarter, holding Angelo to just seven yards for the period and finishing the half with four sacks on Weishuhn.
“We made a lot of mistakes in previous games and still ended up winning,” Carr said. “But tonight, we made a lot of mistakes in all phases.”
Eastern scored on its first two possessions of the second quarter on runs of 1 yard and 2 yards by Benton.
Completions by Benton of 40 yards to tight end Art Tennison on the first drive and running back Fide Davalos on the second set up the scores.
ENMU finished the half with a 274-120 advantage in total offense.