Freedom New Mexico
WEATHERFORD, Okla. — Southwestern Oklahoma’s previously struggling offense rolled up 430 total yards and the Bulldogs’ defense shut down Eastern New Mexico’s hurry-up passing attack Saturday for a 21-10 Lone Star Conference North Division victory.
The Bulldogs (1-4, 1-1 North), coming off a 23-0 loss at East Central, got 101 rushing yards and two touchdowns from senior running back Dwight Pete. They took the lead for good late in the first quarter on 9-yard run by freshman quarterback Dustin Stenta.
Stenta, who had split time before Saturday with junior Mike Van Deripe, played the entire game for the Bulldogs. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 178 yards.
The Greyhounds finished with 340 total yards. Sophomore quarterback Wes Wood completed 30-of-61 passes for 289 yards, but suffered three interceptions.
ENMU forced a punt on the opening series, then picked up two first downs before stalling and sophomore Taylor Cannon kicked a 43-yard field goal.
Cannon, though, missed a 28-yard field goal on ENMU’s next possession after sophomore cornerback Keith Davis forced a fumble and recovered it at the Bulldogs’ 33. Stenta then drove Southwestern 80 yards in 11 plays, completing 5-of-5 passes for 62 yards, before his touchdown run made it 7-3 with 31 seconds left in the quarter.
The Greyhounds (2-3, 1-1) continued to struggle in the second period, with Cannon punting twice and then missing a 41-yard field goal before Southwestern went 76 yards in seven plays.
Freshman D.C. Walker carried three times for 28 yards on the march and Stenta completed a 45-yard pass to Esau Bauknight, setting up Pete’s 3-yard TD run with 22 seconds left in the half.
Cannon also had a tough day punting, kicking three times for a 19.7 average. But after a 13-yard punt on ENMU’s first possession of the third quarter, senior safety Tillman Stevens came up with his second interception of the day, returning 40 yards to the Bulldogs’ 30.
The Hounds needed eight plays to score. Sophomore quarterback Wes Wood completed a 19-yard pass to Darian Dale for a first-and-goal at the 8, but ENMU needed a fourth-and-goal, 1-yard pass from Wood to Kyser for the score to cut it to 14-10.
The Bulldogs reached the ENMU 3 on their next possession, but Matt Kalisch blocked Colton Rainey’s 20-yard field goal. Three plays later, though, the Bulldogs’ Jaron Burgess picked off Wood’s pass near midfield.
The Hounds forced a punt but, backed up in their own end, Cannon had to kick out of the end zone. His 27-yard boot was downed at the ENMU 36 and the Bulldogs’ Dwight Pete carried on four straight plays, going in from 2-yards out with 1:24 left in the third period.
Southwestern’s DeMarcus Miller intercepted Wood inside the Bulldogs’ 30 in the fourth quarter. On their final possession, the Hounds turned the ball over on downs at the Southwestern 45 with less than a minute left.