COMMERCE, Texas — Texas A&M-Commerce running back Marcus Graham posted a career-high 152 yards rushing on 16 carries and scored twice and former Eastern New Mexico University quarterback J.J. Harp helped do in his old teammates with a 24-for-34, 343-yard, three-touchdown outing as the Lions broke into the win column on Saturday with a 60-28 Lone Star Conference rout of the Greyhounds.
Graham had scoring runs of one yard and seven yards as the Lions (1-8, 1-6 LSC) broke open the game with 23 consecutive points in the second quarter to erase a 14-13 deficit.
Harp, who played at ENMU from 2008-09 and set several school and NCAA records in the process, threw a 29-yard scoring pass to Kevin Bevans on the third play of the game. He later added a 9-yarder to Adorian Arthur and an 80-yard strike to Seth Smith, the latter with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Greyhounds (2-8, 1-6) got a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from senior Arvin Jackson to end the long Lions scoring run, but Commerce answered back with a 77-yard drive resulting in the TD pass to Arthur with less than a minute left in the half for a 43-21 cushion at the intermission.
Commerce rolled up 535 total yards and its point total was the second-highest against ENMU this season, surpassed only in a 65-20 loss at Northwest Missouri State on Oct. 15.
Senior linebacker Cory Whitfield was in on 15 tackles (seven solos) for the Lions’ defense, and sophomore middle linebacker Matt Claggett added 14 stops (five solos).
Senior Tony Valenzuela rushed for 94 yards, including a 13-yard run to put ENMU ahead 7-6 late in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Wes Wood found senior Chase Kyser on a 17-yard scoring pass early in the second period to put the Hounds back in front, but it was pretty much all Lions after that.
Graham’s performance left him 15 yards short of 2,000 in his career at Commerce. The Lions also got touchdowns on a blocked punt, a pass interception in the end zone and a safety.
ENMU closes out its season with a 1 p.m. LSC matchup next Saturday against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Blackwater Draw.