Second-year Eastern New Mexico University football coach Josh Lynn says he’s generally not too demonstrative when talking to his team.
Saturday night, though, he made an exception. Trailing 28-0 late in the half and 28-6 at the break, Lynn said he prodded his team. The Greyhounds scored 23 unanswered points in the final two periods and held on for a 29-28 win at Angelo State when junior linebacker Seth Bailey of Texico blocked a late field goal try by the Rams.
“I kind of got on them,” Lynn said Monday of his halftime lecture. “You never know what’ll work.”
The comeback is believed to be the second-largest in program history. On Sept. 22, 1984, at Ada, Okla., the Hounds trailed East Central 46-14 late in the third period before storming back to win 50-46.
For whatever reason, the Hounds (2-3) have generally played better in the second half of games this season. They’ve outscored their opponents 103-39 in the final two stanzas while getting outscored 111-49 in the first half.
Saturday was no different. Angelo jumped to a 21-0 lead at the quarter and stretched that when running back Jermie Calhoun scored on a 21-yard run with less than four minutes left until halftime.
The Hounds then went three-and-out, but Anthony Torres’ punt bounced off ASU’s Paul Mason at the 15 and rolled into the end zone, where ENMU freshman Marcus Inglemon recovered it for a touchdown.
Lynn said before that, the Hounds were just looking for a chance to regroup.
“At that point, I was just trying to get out of there alive,” Lynn said of the three-and-out possession. “We milked the clock and were just trying to get to halftime.”
Two Jeremy Buurma-to-Jordan Wells scoring passes in the third quarter pulled the Hounds close. Freshman Mitchell Cox kicked a 28-yard field goal early in the final segment, and senior fullback Christian Long’s 17-yard, fourth-and-1 touchdown run made it 28-27 with 5:18 left.
The Hounds lined up to kick the PAT, but holder Jacob Johnson had a trouble with the snap. He picked it up and took off, lunging over the goal line for two points.
“He bobbled the snap a little bit and makes a ‘fire’ call,” Lynn said. “We had every intention of kicking that.”
After Bailey blocked ASU kicker Rhett Peterson’s 30-yard field goal, the Hounds picked up one first down, forcing the Rams to use up their timeouts, before Buurma took a knee on the final two plays.