Now that Eastern New Mexico University’s football team is on a mini-winning streak, second-year coach Josh Lynn is hoping the Greyhounds can take it to the next level.
ENMU (3-3, 1-1 LSC) has won its last two games — on the road, no less — and returns to Blackwater Draw for a 3 p.m. LSC kickoff on Saturday against Texas A&M-Kingsville.
The Hounds, who beat former LSC member Northeastern State 35-14 on Saturday at Tahlequah, Okla., will close out their season with four consecutive league contests.
“It’s there,” Lynn said on Monday. “We’ve just got to put it all together. Hopefully, we’re starting to grow up as a team a little bit.”
Jordan Wells and Christian Long both rushed for more than 100 yards and the Hounds piled up nearly 500 total yards against the RiverHawks (0-7), whose previous losses all came against Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association teams who were a combined 35-1 before Saturday.
“It’s a good road win for us,” said Lynn, whose team won at Angelo State 29-28 the previous week. “They’re all good (wins) for us.”
With the score 7-7 midway through the second quarter, ENMU defensive lineman Bracy McCoy blocked an NSU field goal attempt. The Hounds drove 67 yards in nine plays to take the lead on Long’s 1-yard run, his second touchdown of the day, with 3:06 left in the half.
“That might’ve been the turning point in the game,” Lynn said of McCoy’s block.
The RiverHawks then drove inside the red zone in the closing moments of the half before junior linebacker Seth Bailey of Texico intercepted a pass at the 5 and returned it 31 yards. It took ENMU just three plays and 29 seconds to cover 64 yards, with junior quarterback Jeremy Buurma hitting junior wide receiver Jacob Johnson for the score with 38 seconds left in the half.
The Hounds then mounted an 87-yard touchdown drive following the second-half kickoff, and cruised home from there.
All five ENMU scoring drives covered at least 59 yards. Meantime, the defense kept the RiverHawks to 250 total yards.
“The defense played great,” Lynn said. “Since I’ve been here, it’s the best defensive effort I’ve seen.”