Northeastern steamrolls Hounds in opener

Freedom Newspapers

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Junior running back Erick Hatchett and junior wide receiver Jarrett Byers scored three touchdowns apiece and Northeastern State ran away to a 42-7 victory over Eastern New Mexico University on Thursday in a Lone Star Conference crossover football game.

The Redmen (1-1), winners in only five games over John Horner’s first three seasons as coach, led 42-0 before the Greyhounds got on the board with 12 minutes left on quarterback Michael Benton’s 2-yard run.

Northeastern State dominated the game, outgaining ENMU 498-237. The Redmen had 249 yards rushing and 249 through the air, with quarterback Joe Hogan going 12-for-16 for 228 yards.

Benton finished with 20 carries for 157 yards for the Hounds, but went just 2-of-22 through the air for 44 yards with two interceptions.

Hatchett capped a 33-yard drive with a 2-yard run late in the first quarter, then finished off a 12-play, 82-yard march early in the second period by diving over from a yard out.

Following the kickoff, Benton had runs of 15 and 7 yards, and a five-yard facemask penalty on the latter gave ENMU a first down at the Northeastern.

Three plays lost a total of three yards, however, and Benton’s fourth-down quick kick went out of bounds at the Northeastern 19. On the next play, Hogan found Byers for an 81-yard scoring play and a 21-0 lead.

Two possessions later, Xavier Clanton’s interception gave Northeastern possession at its own 35 and Hogan and Byers again hooked up on the next play, a touchdown pass covering 65 yards with a minute left in the half.

Hatchett added a 13-yard TD run and Byers caught a 21-yard scoring pass from backup QB Willie Cole in the third period to complete Northeastern’s scoring.
Hatchett finished with 163 yards rushing on 19 carries, while Byers caught eight passes for 215 yards.