Hounds snap losing streak, rout Panhandle St. in finale

CNJ staff

GOODWELL, Okla. — It took the Eastern New Mexico University football team a little while to get untracked Saturday, but once they did the Greyhounds were in complete control.

ENMU snapped an eight-game losing streak, rolling up 457 total yards in a 59-13 thumping of Oklahoma Panhandle State in the season finale for both teams.

Freshman running back Joseph Banyard rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns and freshman quarterback J.J. Harp threw for 271 yards and three scores for the Hounds (2-9).

The teams were tied 7-7 before ENMU put up four touchdowns in the final nine minutes of the half.

Banyard scored the first two, breaking the tie with a 41-yard TD run and then going over from a yard out on the first play after an interception and 20-yard return by freshman cornerback Reggie Butler.

After an Aggies punt, the Hounds drove 68 yards in six plays with Harp finding freshman Darian Dale on a 29-yard scoring pass. ENMU then forced another Panhandle punt and marched 49 yards in 10 plays, capped by Harp’s two-yard TD pass to senior Michael Carrasco which made it 35-7 at halftime.

The Hounds added another score following the second-half kickoff, chewing up more than four minutes on an 80-yard, 11-play march that resulted in a 15-yard TD run by Tony Valenzuela. Freshman kicker Adam Richards booted a 37-yard field goal midway through the period before Banyard added a 6-yard TD run with 2:24 left in the quarter.

Senior Marcus Robinson then recovered Valenzuela’s fumble in the end zone to make it 59-7 early in the final quarter. The Aggies (3-7) got on the board again late when backup quarterback Gabe Gilmore capped an 80-yard, 15-play march with a 1-yard sneak.

Dale had a solid day at wide receiver for ENMU, catching six passes for 128 yards. Another freshman, Matt Handler, caught four for 53 and scored the Hounds’ first touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Harp with just under 11 minutes left in the opening quarter.

ENMU’s defense held the Aggies to 169 total yards. Senior defensive end Kyle Wilson was credited with 3 1/2 quarterback sacks for a net loss of 18 yards, while sophomore cornerback Tillman Stevens was in on eight tackles, including seven solo stops.