PORTALES, N.M. - Since his induction press conference inside Wisdom Gym on December 3 last year, Todd Whitten's message about the first step in turning around the Texan Football program has been clear - stop the run.

The message was received loud and clear Saturday afternoon as the Texans went into the home of the nation's second-leading rushing unit and held the Greyhound option offense 100 yards below its season average on the ground en route to a 26-16 victory at Greyhound Stadium.

"We really battled and played hard," said Whitten. "These guys continue to come back through a tough schedule and I can't say enough about the way they are continuing to battle. I'm just very proud of these guys. (They're) buying in and coming to work every single day - and they're having some fun along the way. It's a credit to our guys and the whole coaching staff."

While the defense came out firing in the opening quarter by keeping the Greyhounds off the board, it allowed the Texan offense to find its rhythm and the rhythm started out wide with Jeff Thomasand Del'Michael High.

The Tarleton twosome each went over 100 yards individually on the afternoon and combined for 269 yards on 17 catches with all three of the Tarleton touchdowns. It is the second time that Tarleton has had two 100-yard receivers in a game this season, which is the first time Tarleton has accomplished such a feat in a single season since Jahmeel Hobson and Devin Guinn did it as a wide receiver duo in the 2009 campaign.

Thomas got Tarleton on the board first at the 11:51 mark of the second quarter when the junior from Duncanville went up and pulled one down in the end zone for a 13-yard pitch and catch from quarterback Zed Woerner.

Not to be outdone by his teammate, High answered just over six minutes later with Tarleton trailing 7-6 to put the Texans on top for good with a 28-yard touchdown grab against two defenders for a 13-7 Texan lead.

Eastern New Mexico, who celebrated its homecoming Saturdayafternoon, added a field goal before halftime to make it a 13-10 contest at the break, but the Texans came out after halftime firing on all cylinders.

The Texan defense forced Eastern New Mexico to fumble their drives away on each of the first two possessions of the second half while the offense turned those into 10 points with a 20-yard field goal from Sergio Sroka and another touchdown toss to High from 12 yards out to extend the lead to 23-10 with 9:38 left in the third quarter.

Tarleton would go on to add a 44-yard field goal from Sroka just before the third quarter ended, but the Texan defense continued its dominance to keep Eastern New Mexico from putting together any kind of rally effort. On the Greyhounds' final five possessions, while they did manage an 80-yard touchdown play on one of them, Tarleton stopped three of the drives with turnovers on a fumble recovery and two Treston Ridge interceptions to seal the deal.

Ridge became the first player since Charles Moore (3) against McMurry on October 25, 2014 to interception multiple passes in a game. The senior safety finished the game with nine tackles, including five solo stops.

Cody Burtscher led Texan stop troops with 14 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, and a fumble recovery while Basil Jackson (11) andDevin Hafford (10) also reached double-digit tackles. It was a career high for Hafford, a true freshman.

Azizullah Fifita and EJ Speed joined Burtscher in recovering fumbles while Ridge accounted for the rest of the Tarleton takeaways.

On offense, Zed Woerner passed for 343 yards on 29-47 through the air with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He completed 269 of his 343 yards to Thomas and High.

Riding the wave of a three-game winning streak, Tarleton will return home next Saturday night on homecoming night in Stephenville to host Texas A&M-Kingsville at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.