When and Where: Saturday, September 15, 7 PM. Al Whitehead Field at Greyhound Stadium, Portales, New Mexico.
2017 Greyhounds: 8-2 overall, 6-2 in the Lone Star Conference.
Points Per Game: 32.4
Points Per Game Allowed: 28.7
Leading Passer: Wyatt Strand, RS-JR, 52-96 attempts, 54.2 percent, 784 passing yards, 4 TD passes, 2 interceptions.
Leading Rusher: Wyatt Strand, RS-JR, 678 Rushing Yards on 157 attempts, 14 Rushing Touchdowns.
Leading Receiver: Warren Washington, SR, 10 receptions for 83 yards.
Notes: Let me start off by saying this, I felt that Eastern absolutely was a playoff quality team and the fact that they did not get as much as bowl invite was a complete travesty in my opinion. They were 8-2 last year with two losses, one to the national champion (that would be the Lions) and the other to the Super Region 4 Semifinalists (Midwestern). Kelley Lee has done a fantastic job so far, but next year things get tougher. How do you replace Kamaal Cass? I am curious to see who steps up and becomes the feature back in the ENMU Flexbone/option attack. Like I have said numerous times, I love offenses that take it to the extreme and Eastern’s offense is just fun to watch.
The Lions have this going for them, aside from Cass being gone. They are familiar with the man running the Eastern offense, Wyatt Strand, and have beaten him twice. However, being in Portales is never easy. The Lion offense MUST play well, because there is one way to guarantee yourself to lose to Eastern, and that is to get behind them. Because if they get just one score ahead of you, they can and often will beat you. Their game plan is simple, chew the clock, score, take time off the clock, and force your opponents offense to execute and force them into making mistakes. That is how the Hounds beat the Lions back in 2013. Since then, the Lion offense has found a way to attack by scoring quickly via passing and then milking clock by using the pass to set up the run. That recipe has worked so far, and with 8 Lion starters returning on defense, I see the Lions taking another one from the Hounds, but expect a tougher game than the past 2 blowout wins.