STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Sophomore quarterback Scott Grantham threw for two touchdowns and ran for another Saturday and 17th-ranked Tarleton State posted a 42-21 Lone Star Conference South Division victory over Eastern New Mexico University.
The Texans (7-1, 2-1 South) opened a 21-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half and traded scores the rest of the way with the Greyhounds (1-7, 0-4), handing ENMU its sixth consecutive loss.
ENMU freshman quarterback J.J. Harp was sacked six times by the Texans defense, but threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman tailback Joseph Banyard added 91 yards rushing.
The Texans drove 96 yards on seven plays on their second possession of the game after Tim Hall’s punt and an illegal block penalty set them back to their own 4. Senior running back Roderick Smith ran 68 yards for the score with 7:02 left in the opening quarter.
Tarleton mounted another drive starting late in the first quarter. The Texans covered 65 yards in 13 plays, capped by Grantham’s 6-yard TD pass to Eric Foreman with 12:20 left in the half.
Corey Lewis then intercepted a Harp pass on the first play after the kickoff, and the Texans went 35 yards in five plays with Grantham scoring on a 9-yard run.
Defensive back Jeremy Hibbler forced and recovered a Foreman fumble at the Texans’ 46 with 2:49 left in the half, and ENMU went the distance in 10 plays with Harp hitting Jessie Poku on a 5-yard TD pass with 18 seconds left in the half.
Grantham’s 34-yard pass to Shamarr Prentice made it 28-7 in the third quarter.
ENMU got a 4-yard run from Terrence Griffin in the first minute of the final period. The teams combined for three scores in the final five minutes, including a 39-yard pass from Harp to freshman Matt Handler with 3:21 left that made it 35-21.
Grantham completed 26-of-36 passes for 292 yards, with Foreman catching 14 passes for 127 yards. Tarleton outgained the Hounds overall 478-282.
Handler had a season-best six catches for 74 yards for ENMU. Safety Mark Patterson had 11 tackles and forced and recovered a fumble while linebacker Texavier Henry, who had a sack for a 9-yard loss, and Hibbler were each in on 10 tackles.
Tarleton State 42, ENMU 21
ENMU 0 7 0 14 — 21
Tarleton St. 7 14 7 14 — 42
TSU — Roderick Smith 68-yard run (Garrett Lindholm kick), 7:02
TSU — Eric Foreman 6-yard pass from Scott Grantham (Lindholm kick), 12:20
TSU — Grantham 9-yard run (Lindholm kick), 10:02
ENM — Jessie Poku 5-yard pass from J.J. Harp (Adam Richards kick), :18
TSU — Shamarr Prentice 34-yard pass from Grantham (Lindholm kick), 8:10
ENM — Terrence Griffin 4-yard run (Richards kick), 14:04
TSU — Travis Evans 5-yard run (Lindholm kick), 4:50
ENM — Matt Handler 39-yard pass from Harp (Richards kick), 3:21
TSU — Keith Demby 5-yard run (Lindholm kick), 1:04
A — 5,348.
First downs 16 26
Rushes-yards 29-74 39-186
Passing yards 208 292
Total yards 282 478
Comp-att-int 23-41-1 26-36-0
Punting 5-43.0 2-38.0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 6-71 12-129
Rushing — Eastern New Mexico, Joseph Banyard 11-91, Griffin 9-16, Darian Dale 1-minus 1, Harp 8-minus 32. Tarleton State, Smith 10-114, Evans 17-58, Eddie Brown 2-10, Keith Demby 2-8, Grantham 6-0, team 2-minus 4.
Passing — Eastern New Mexico, Harp 23-40-1-208, Michael Carrasco 0-1-0-0. Tarleton State, Grantham 26-36-0-292.
Receiving — Eastern New Mexico, Handler 6-74, Poku 4-36, Banyard 4-20, Dale 3-42, Justin Campos 2-10, Michael Beach 2-7, Griffin 1-10, Carrasco 1-9. Tarleton State, Foreman 14-127, Jahmeel Hobson 3-41, Evans 3-40, Prentice 2-44, Devin Guinn 1-15, Tanner Maher 1-12, Homar Saenz 1-11, Demby 1-2.