KINGSVILLE, Texas — Junior defensive back Blair Anderson returned an Eastern New Mexico University fumble 21 yards for a third-quarter touchdown, giving Texas A&M-Kingsville the lead for good Saturday night as the Javelinas defeated Eastern New Mexico University 26-14 in a Lone Star Conference South Division football game.
The 21st-ranked Javelinas (6-2, 2-2 South) bounced back from a 41-14 loss at Midwestern State in their previous outing, beating the Greyhounds (4-5, 2-3) for the 11th consecutive time in Kingsville.
Junior quarterback Joey Pena completed 18-of-22 passes for 246 yards while sophomore running back Raymorris Miller added 142 yards on 20 carries for Kingsville. The Javelinas finished with a 431-340 advantage over ENMU in total offense.
Linebacker Tim Ojeda was in on 11 tackles to lead the Hounds on defense. He was credited with 2 1/2 tackles for loss and also recovered one of three fumbles lost by the Javelinas.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Benton ran for 84 yards and a touchdown for the Hounds, tying the school’s single-season record for rushing touchdowns in a season at 14. The record was set by Charlie Painter in 1951.
Benton’s rushing yardage also pushed him to within 12 yards of the 1,000 mark for the season.
Kingsville took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but trailed 14-13 at halftime after Benton led the Hounds on two scoring drives in the second quarter.
Chris Campbell’s 2-yard run midway though the opening period capped an 82-yard, 10-play march for the Javs, and Richard Hammond booted a 42-yard field goal later in the quarter.
ENMU got back in the game when Benton finished a 10-play, 80-yard march by tossing a 21-yard TD pass to Fide Davalos early in the second period. The Hounds went in front 14-10 with 8:51 remaining in the half when Benton kept for a touchdown on a 20-yard option play.
Kingsville mounted a 10-play, 56-yard drive in just 1:56 late in the half, pulling to 14-13 at the intermission on a 25-yard field goal by Hammond with 11 seconds left.
The Hounds forced a punt by Kingsville following the second-half kickoff, but on second down Benton and Jason Tezeno missed connections on a pitchout and Anderson scooped up the ball and raced down the sideline for a touchdown.
Kingsville’s final score came on a third-and-4, 85-yard slant pass from Pena to senior wide receiver Clay Woodard with 8 1/2 minutes left in the game.
ENMU threatened in the closing minutes, but a touchdown pass from Benton to Derrick Hunter was wiped out by a holding penalty with about three minutes left and the Javelinas held on.