Greyhounds Choke!

Greyhound Spirit Squad

By J.T. Keith

The Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds opened the 2011 season with sunny skies and beautiful pageantry, to welcome the start of a new football season. Eastern New Mexico’s defense dominated the first half in their season opener against New Mexico Highland Cowboys. Lead by an interception from defensive tackle Ian Ogando who intercepted a pass off quarterback Emmanuel Lewis of the Cowboys, helped set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wes Wood to Darian Dale.

Eastern New Mexico had their way with the Cowboys in the first half, racing out to a 28-0 lead at halftime. The Greyhounds used a no-huddle, quick strike, short, intermediate passing game to keep the Cowboys defense off balance.

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As the weather changed in the second half so did the Greyhound fortunes, losing 43-36 in overtime.

Cowboys receiver Niko Aumua hauled in a 15 yard touchdown pass from Emmanuel Lewis to make the score 28-7 with 11:45 left in the third quarter. On the next series of downs with 10:58 remaining, ENMU quarterback Wes Wood threw an interception to the Cowboys defensive back Abdul Kanneh, who returned it for a 54 yard touchdown to make the score 14-28.

With 4:22 left in the third quarter Deandre Green caught a 43 yard touchdown pass from Emmanuel Lewis, to make the score 21-28. With 2:40 left in the third quarter, ENMU came back as running back Stefan Mills ran for a 1 yard touchdown to make the score 21-36.

Entering the fourth quarter with the Cowboys driving, Jermaine Holmes scored on a 15 yard pass with 14:10 left to make the score 28-36. Both teams played tough defense trading punt for punt until Jermaine Holmes scored on a 5 yard run with 2:23 left in the game to tie the score 36-36. ENMU had a final chance to move the ball with seconds left but chose to run out the clock and go into overtime.

The Cowboys received the ball first in overtime and went on to score with a 2 yard run from Jequerie Proctor to take a 43-36 lead.

ENMU’s last possession was a mix of hurries and incomplete passes. The Greyhounds last play fourth and 10, fell short of the intended target Arvin Jackson to end the game.

 As the sun went down, the weather turned windy, affecting both teams kicking game. Greyhound kicker Taylor Cannon missed two extra points and two field goal attempts from 40 yards and 35 yards. 

Michael Matthew and Tony Valenzuela were injured and did not play affecting the running game.

Coach Mark Ribaudo said of the game “We didn’t play good. We did not tackle at all. We didn’t play well offensively.  We did not run the ball very well. We didn’t protect the quarterback. Our quarterback didn’t make good decisions. Defensively we did not tackle well, Special Teams had to many big errors; we just didn’t play well at all in any phase.” 

“It’s going to be a super long season; we need to get a lot of things fixed, and who knows if we can get them fixed in a week? We could not stop the run it was just atrocious, we played like crap. We need to pull our heads out of our… Or it’s going to be a really long season!”

New Mexico Highlands head coach Eric Young said the key to the game was the adjustments made in the second half, “We go into every game with a passing mind set.” But when we saw that we could have success running the ball on them, we adjusted to that fact that they could not stop the run. We ran the ball 71 times for 331 yards, 210 yards in the second half. We had trouble staying with their receivers. We played man coverage in the first half and ENMU was running some pick route stuff, and a lot of drag route with only 3-5 yards of spacing between them. That was giving us fits so in the second half we switched to zone defense they never made any adjustments; that was the key to the game.

The Greyhounds next home game is September 24, against Tarleton State.

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