Texans win big in front of big Family Weekend crowd against Eastern New Mexico

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STEPHENVILLE — The Texans win often on Family Weekend, and that tradition continued on Saturday in blowout fashion. In front of a loud and proud 13,127 fans at Memorial Stadium, Tarleton rolled Eastern New Mexico 41-6.

The Texans (2-1, 0-0 WAC) won their seventh straight Family Weekend game, improving to 7-0 on the specific weekend since head coach Todd Whitten returned to the sideline. Tarleton also won its 14th game in its last 17 tries against old Lone Star Conference companion Eastern New Mexico (1-2, 0-1 LSC). Tarleton is 2-0 at Memorial Stadium this year with an active four-game winning streak, taking seven of the last eight games in Stephenville.

The game was controlled by the purple and white from the get-go, with Tarleton seeing a number of strong performances across the board. Beau Allen, the Fireside District Player of the Game, completed 21-of-37 (.568) passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a rushing touchdown and 18 yards on the ground.

His favorite target once again at home was Jaden Smith, who finished with seven receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Douglas recorded five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, while Darius Cooper posted three catches for 83 yards. Deangelo Rosemond scored two rushing touchdowns. Ontario “Mookie” Douglas led the rushing attack on the night with 71 yards on 10 carries (7.1 yards per rush).

Defensively, the Texans gave the younger guys some run Saturday, playing without four starters, including the top two tacklers in the Western Athletic Conference. Freshman Garrett Richard led Tarleton with six tackles. Linebacker Patrick Jones earned Tarleton’s first interception on the year. Les Odimara recorded a sack and forced fumble. Seguin Ijiyera also forced a fumble, recovered by Darian Williams in the fourth quarter. Also, wide receiver Antwoine Ware blocked a punt.

Tarleton outgained Eastern New Mexico in total yardage 473-113, averaging 6.2 yards per play to the Greyhounds’ 1.7. The Tarleton defense forced Greyhounds’ QB to a 7-of-33 (.212) clip for just 55 yards, and allowed just 58 rushing yards overall.

The Texans scored on their second drive of the game, needing just two plays to do so. Allen found Cooper for a 59-yard hookup, taking Tarleton to the Eastern New Mexico 1-yard line. Rosemond then promptly punched it in for the game’s first score.

Later in the first quarter, after Eastern New Mexico’s Cooper Hamilton made a 50-yard field goal, Texan kicker Wyatt Birdwell made his first career field goal from 33 yards out to make it 10-3 Tarleton.

In the second quarter, a 28-yard pass from Allen to Douglas put Tarleton at the 1-yard line again, and for the second time, Rosemond scored from a yard out. Ware blocked Eastern New Mexico’s punt on the next drive, and Tarleton capitalized on it, a 28-yard TD connection between Allen and Douglas. Tarleton led 24-3 at halftime.

On the first play of the third quarter, Jones intercepted Eastern New Mexico at their own 25-yard line, which led to a 38-yard Birdwell field goal. After a three-and-out for the Greyhounds, the Texans drove 60 yards down the field for a 7-yard Allen-to-Smith TD to make it 34-3. Eastern New Mexico added a field goal on the last play of the third to trail 34-6 heading into the fourth.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Allen recorded his first rushing touchdown while at Tarleton on a 6-yard scamper to make it 41-6, which ended up being the final.

This was the last Tarleton home game for a five-week stretch, next taking the field at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 22. The Texans next play on Saturday, Sept. 24, at North Alabama at 6 p.m. CT.

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