By Mickey Winfield: PNT staff writer
The Greyhounds finished their 2006 season with style Saturday afternoon at Greyhound Stadium.
The Hounds set a school record with 531 yards rushing on the way to eight rushing touchdowns in a 63-14 rout of Oklahoma Panhandle State. ENMU finishes the season at 3-7.
“Our offense, they set a goal to break the record early this week,” Greyhound head coach Mark Ribaudo said. “They wanted no turnovers and to break the rushing record, and they set their sights to it and practiced hard and they got it done. I’m really, really proud of ‘em. I’m proud of the offensive staff, and our whole football team.”
ENMU junior quarterback Michael Benton led the Hounds with 126 rushing yards on eight carries, and three rushing touchdowns, while Floyd native and ENMU senior Fide Davalos finished with 60-yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.
“We just wanted to finish out on a positive note,” Benton said. “We had a real rough year, had some ups and downs and we just wanted to take the seniors out in a real good way.”
The Aggies drew first blood on their opening drive of the game, going 80-yards in 10 plays capped by a 12-yard score from senior running back David Daniels. The Aggies first quarter 7-0 lead would be their only lead of the game.
The Greyhounds closed out the opening quarter with 3 straight touchdowns, including two Benton scores from two and 17 yards out, followed by an 11-yard Davalos scamper to give ENMU a 21-7 first quarter advantage.
The green and silver scored early and often in the second quarter as well, as junior running back Jason Walker hit pay dirt from the 12-yard line, to give ENMU a 28-7 lead, but Oklahoma Panhandle responded quickly with a 63-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Craig Maynard to Daniels, to cut the first-half Hound lead to 14-points.
The Greyhounds kept the ball on the ground, and gained 42-yards on three plays, highlighted by another Davalos score from the 10-yard line.
After the ENMU defense forced an Aggie punt, sophomore punt returner Brandon Dominguez flashed a glimpse of ENMU’s not-too-distant future, returning the punt down the right sideline 74-yards for the touchdown, giving ENMU a 42-14 second quarter lead.
The Greyhound rushing machine continued to churn out big plays, as Benton closed out the first half with a 32-yard touchdown run to put the Hounds up 49-14 at the half.
ENMU scored the only two touchdowns of the second half, a 12-yard run from senior running back Robert Garza in the third quarter, and a 8-yard score up-the-middle from freshman J.T Thompson midway through the fourth quarter to secure the Greyhounds (3-7) a 63-14 season ending victory against Oklahoma Panhandle State (0-10), and with it, the school’s one-game rushing record with 531 yards.
The 63-points scored also mark the second highest scoring output in a home game, in ENMU history.
“Our kids have worked hard,” Ribaudo said. “And we’ve got a group of seniors that are just fantastic kids, and I’m just tickled to death that they can go out with a win like this. I love those kids.”