By Kevin Wilson
BLACKWATER DRAW — There were plenty of logistical reasons the Eastern New Mexico University football team opted for a Wednesday night scrimmage. The Greyhounds have seven night games on their schedule, and the nighttime weather is more forgiving than a morning scrimmage with little cloud cover over Greyhound Stadium.
But third-year coach Josh Lynn went with a more simple reason: The Greyhounds just need the work.
“We wanted to get in another scrimmage before Saturday,” Lynn said at the conclusion of the 80-play scrimmage. “We were coming off of an off day.”
The team was also coming off an unexpected delay. Lightning hit just minutes before the scheduled 7 p.m. start, and the first play didn’t go off for about 45 minutes.
The long delay, which saw the Greyhounds’ locker room break out into an impromptu team version of the national anthem, was also a teachable moment.
Lynn reminded his squad that it had a 90-minute lightning delay last season when it visited Incarnate Word.
The Greyhounds fell behind 26-7 in that contest, and a rally wasn’t enough in a game they lost 33-26.
“No matter what happens before the game,” Lynn told the post-scrimmage huddle, “you’ve got to get yourself ready to play.”
The defense was definitely ready to play early, with an energy level noticeably higher than the Saturday morning scrimmage.
“They were 10 times better,” senior running back Cameron Mikell said. “They were really flying out there, getting to the ball well.”
The offense got its share of big plays, including a 62-yard scoring run by Chris Coleman, a 62-yard run by Andy Lopez and a 70-yard pass from Ryan Greene to Adrian Horton on a flea-flicker.
“We’ve been pretty good,” Mikell said. “We won (a share of) the (Lone Star Conference) championship last year, and we’re looking to build on that. We’re taking it day by day, getting ready for (the Sept. 6 opener at New Mexico) Highlands.”
In the two days between scrimmages, Lynn said there’s plenty of work left.
“We need to work on the perimeter blocking with our wide receivers and running backs,” Lynn said. “I think we need a little more work in the secondary. We were having people getting by defenders, and we can’t have that.”