Hounds anxious for opener with Highlands

By Dave Wagner

CMI sports writer

dwagner@cnjonline.com

BLACKWATER DRAW — Enough of this scrimmaging already. It’s time for the Eastern New Mexico University football team to get on with the season.

Tony Bullocks: CMI photo ENMU sophomore quarterback Ryan Greene barks out signals while under center at Saturday’s scrimmage at Blackwater Draw. It was the team’s final intrasquad scrimmage before next week’s season opener at home against New Mexico Highlands.

Tony Bullocks: CMI photo
ENMU sophomore quarterback Ryan Greene barks out signals while under center at Saturday’s scrimmage at Blackwater Draw. It was the team’s final intrasquad scrimmage before next week’s season opener at home against New Mexico Highlands.

The Greyhounds went at it in their third intrasquad scrimmage of the fall on Saturday at Greyhound Stadium, but senior tight end Evan Tooley said the Hounds are ready to play another team.

“We’re ready to hit somebody else, I think,” Tooley said after the two-hour scrimmage. “I think we’re getting closer (to being game-ready). But in football, you have to try to get better every day.”

Saturday’s scrimmage pitted a green squad, consisting primarily of what coach Josh Lynn called the team’s top 50 players, against a silver team made up of everyone else. Not surprisingly, for the most part, the green-clad Hounds dominated.

“We wanted to just work on game management today,” Lynn said. “I thought the first part of the scrimmage was kind of slow and draggy on both sides of the ball.

“We got going on offense, but we got going too late.”

In general, the offense had the better of it for most of the scrimmage, Lynn acknowledged.

“Offensively, we might be just a half-step in front of the defense,” he said. “Defensively, we’ve got a lot of new faces and we have a lot of work to do to get there.”

Tony Bullocks: CMI photo  ENMU freshman kicker Mitchell Cox bring down junior running back Cam Mikell at midfield in Saturday’ scrimmage at Blackwater Draw, the final scrimmage before opening the season against New Mexico Highlands University at Blackwater Draw.

Tony Bullocks: CMI photo
ENMU freshman kicker Mitchell Cox brings down junior running back Cam Mikell at midfield in Saturday’ scrimmage at Blackwater Draw, the final scrimmage before opening the season against New Mexico Highlands University at Blackwater Draw.

Tooley, from Truth or Consequences, acknowledged that, much like the final NFL preseason game or the end of spring training in baseball, it’s a bit hard to get motivated for the last scrimmage before the opener.

“We kind of overlooked (the silver team) for a couple of drives; I don’t think we had our minds right,” said Tooley, who also played a bit of offensive tackle during the scrimmage. “It seemed like once we got started, we played pretty well. We’ll just have to watch film to see our mistakes.”

Running backs Jordan Wells and Cameron Mikell had good outings, Lynn said.

“I thought the play of our inside linebackers, (including) Seth Bailey, was good,” he said. “Those guys moved around well.”

Highlands has beaten ENMU each of the last two seasons, including a 43-36 overtime win at Greyhound Stadium in 2011 in which the Hounds led 28-0 at halftime. Those were the first two meetings since a 45-14 ENMU win in Lynn said the Cowboys graduated some players from last year’s team, but should still be formidable.

“Offensively, they should be really good,” he said. “They have good skill players. Defensively, they lost a few more players.”

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