NSU1

NSU defensive tackle Brian Levy (96) and Shane Cates (43) take down an Eastern New Mexico Runner Thursday night.

Two yards kept the NSU Redmen from topping the 500-yard mark, but Jarrett Byers, Erick Hatchett and Joe Hogan made sure the Redmen got their first win of the season in a big way. NSU rolled over the Greyhounds of Eastern New Mexico 42-7 in a lopsided battle at Doc Wadley Stadium on Thursday.

Byers had the best night of his career at NSU catching eight passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns.

“Jarrett is a heck of a receiver. It wouldn’t say it was surprising that he got open, but unexpected maybe,” said NSU Head Coach John Horner. “Finding time to get him the ball was the key. It was a great job by our offensive line to give the quarterbacks time to get him the ball.”

Byers surpassed his previous career high of 199-yards against Arkansas Tech in 2005.

Hatchett followed, in the balanced NSU attack, with 163-yards rushing. Quarterback Joe Hogan showed consistency going 12-16-0 passing.

“Joe (Hogan) is doing a great job. We brought in Will (Cole) because Joe was a little banged up from last week,” said Horner. “We wanted to do some things with Will . he did a good job.”

On the defense, the Redmen shared the wealth allowing the Greyhounds to complete only two passes for 44-yards, including a 35-yard pass that set up their lone touchdown. True freshman Xavier Clanton led the defense getting in on six tackles and pulling down an interception. Sharod Hoffman also got an interception for the Redmen, and Shane Cates got a fumble recovery. Lerrell Blair got the only sack of the game setting back the Greyhounds 6-yards.

“Normally you don’t see these kind of games in the LSC (Lone Star Conference) We are just going to try to stay focused and continue to play tough,” said Horner.

NSU wasted no time getting on the board in the first quarter. They drove down the field on their second possession. Hoffman got the Redmen started with a 31 yard punt return setting NSU up on ENMU side of the field. Backup quarterback William Cole got things stared with a 8-yard run that put the Redmen on the 25-yard line. Hatchett then went to work putting NSU just outside the 10-yard line. Hogan then connected with Byers for another nine yards. Then the drive was capped with a two yard, over-the-top touchdown from Hatchett. NSU’s new kicker Jared Homer tacked on the extra point to set the NSU scoring frenzy in motion.

As the first quarter ended and the second quarter began, NSU took on another drive. This time the Redmen were set back at their own 18-yard line and had to drive almost the entire field for the score. Hatchett had rushes of 12, 29, 10 and two yards along with an 18-yard rush by Cole and a 4-yard push by Marquise Dansby putting the ball on the 3-yard line. Hatchett again went over the pile for his and NSU’s second touchdown of the game.

The third score was a quick turnaround on the next possession. The Redmen took the ball at their own 19-yard line and turned it into a one-play 81-yard strike when Hogan completed a pass along the home sideline that Byers took to paydirt burning just 34 seconds off the clock. Again, Homer was perfect with the kick.

After another drive stalled and NSU punter Joe Kok booted a 47-yarder, NSU was back in business again. This time, just like the last TD drive, the Redmen wasted no time. Hogan connected with Byers for a 65-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead at the half over the visiting Greyhounds.

Their was less than eight minutes left in the third quarter before NSU would strike again. This time the Redmen were pinned way back on their own 9-yard line and would have to drive 91-yards for the score. Dansby picked up a good chunk of yardage, 22 to be exact, on one runs, before a 20-yard pass to Byers would set the Redmen on the 17-yard line in ENMU territory. A short pass to Ellis Bruner set up Hatchett for another 13-yard run and his third touchdown of the game.

However, the third quarter would not end before the Redmen got on the board again. This time Byers would be the recipient of the touchdown. Cole hit Byers for 21 yards to cap a 5-play, 24-yard drive to end the Redmen scoring for the night and hold a lead of 42-0.

EMNU got their only score of the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. ENMU quarterback Michael Benton connected with Marcus Robinson for 35-yards to set the Greyhounds’ short run to the goal line. Benton finished the drive and ruined a NSU shutout with a 2-yard run with 12:00 left on the clock.

Hoffman finished of the game with an interception on the NSU eight as the clock was winding down. The Redmen did not have to even run a final play to take home the big victory.

We are going to play one game at a time,” said Horner. “If you go in expecting to win like this every time you are kidding yourself.”

A crowd of 8712 attended the NSU home opener and the game was televised on channel 47 out of Tulsa. The Redmen have a longer week to recover this week. The will face Midwestern State at home on Saturday, Sept. 16. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

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