By the next time Bacone College’s football team takes the field, the Warriors hope to have improved their run defense.

Eastern New Mexico shredded the Warriors for 500 yards rushing as quarterbacks Jeremy Thompson and Michael Benton combined for seven touchdowns for the 63-20 victory in the season opener for both teams at Indian Bowl on Saturday night.

Thompson ran for four touchdowns and 148 yards on 10 carries, while Benton scored three times en route to 181 yards also on 10 carries.

“We’ve got to do a better job stopping the run. That’s the bottom line,” Bacone coach Joe Thrasher said. “The other thing with a team that rushes like that, it’s tick, tick, tick. That’s the clock. We have to go back to the drawing board.”

Benton, a two-time All-Lone Star Conference selection, scored on runs of 13, 53 and 62 yards. The 53-yard was the highlight of the night for ENMU as Benton stopped in the backfield and then eluded several tacklers for the touchdown.

Thompson, the Greyhounds’ backup, scampered into the end zone on carries of 21, 4, 46 and 7 yards.

“When I watch the film, it’s going to hurt,” Thrasher said. “I can’t tell you how many times I saw their runner...was actually touched in the backfield before the play got going.”

The Greyhounds’ other touchdowns came on runs as Jason Walker dashed three yards for a touchdown and Tim Hammett scampered 27 yards for a score.

Bacone, though, wasn’t without its highlights. Quarterback Jose Del Rio, a junior from California, completed 25 of 42 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns. His longest pass of the game was a 77-yard TD pass to William Diggs with 3:40 left in the first half, cutting the Warriors’ deficit to 28-14.

The Greyhounds, who play in the same conference with Northeastern State University, led 35-14 at halftime.

“Jose did a pretty good job,” Thrasher said. “Offensively, you saw what we’re capable of.”

Kyle Allison led the Warriors’ receiving corps with seven catches for 140 yards, while Diggs had five receptions for 89 yards and the TD. Dashaun Colbert had four catches for 57 yards and a 25-yard TD catch. Colbert left the game with an apparent rotator cuff injury and was one of four Warriors went to the sidelines with an injury.

“I know this offense will work and our defense will bounce back,” Thrasher said. “We have to be ready for New Mexico Highlands.”

The Warriors play at New Mexico Highlands next Saturday. ENMU returns to action on Sept. 6 at home against NSU.

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