By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers
WHEN TARLETON STATE BEAT Eastern New Mexico University 34-27 on Saturday, it was the program’s first win at Blackwater Draw in six tries.
This week, the Greyhounds travel to Texas A&M-Kingsville — a place they’ve never won (0-10). So could another “jinx” come to an end?
“There’s a difference, though,” ENMU coach Mark Ribaudo pointed out. “I can’t remember the last time Kingsville lost a regular-season game there.”
Actually, it was just last season, when Abilene Christian stunned the then-second-ranked Javelinas 17-10 late in the season.
Still, Ribaudo’s point is well-taken — the Javs are 211-49-2 in 45 years at their facility.
It will also be homecoming at Kingsville, marking the eighth time the Hounds have provided homecoming opposition for the Javelinas.
KINGSVILLE’S RUN OF FOUR consecutive Lone Star Conference championships may be about to end after losses to West Texas A&M and Midwestern State, the latter a 41-14 shocker last weekend. The Javs (5-2, 1-2 LSC South) dropped from sixth to 21st in the NCAA Division II national rankings and, more importantly, from third to 10th in the Southwest Region rankings — the top six teams qualify for the playoffs.
ENMU (4-4, 2-2) is also in dire straits in the region after back-to-back losses to ranked opponents, falling from ninth to 12th this week.
ENMU’s DERRICK HUNTER AND Michael Benton are putting their names in the school’s record book this season.
Hunter caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Benton in the final minute last week, breaking a tie with Steve Jackson (1983-84) for career TD receptions with his 21st. Earlier this season, he set the record for career receiving yardage, and he’s within two catches of the career mark for receptions of 126 set by Robert Griggs (1985-86 and 1988-89).
Benton, meantime, scored two touchdowns against Tarleton and now has 13 for the season, one more than Steven Hinson’s mark for quarterbacks set last season. Benton needs one more TD to tie the ENMU overall record for rushing touchdowns in a season, set by Charlie Painter in 1951.
LSC quick hits — West Texas A&M is 8-0 for the first time in school history. The Buffaloes’ eight-game winning streak is the school’s longest since 1941. … Midwestern State, which came in with a 2-4 record, punished Kingsville for 577 total yards in Saturday’s romp. … Angelo State’s 49-20 win over Northeastern State gives the South an 18-4 edge over the North in crossover games this season.
ENMU football notes are compiled by Dave Wagner. He can be reached at 763-6991 ext. 322 of by email at: