Ball State makes comeback, keeps Eastern Michigan winless
It was a game between winless Mid-American Conference teams Saturday, as Eastern Michigan University lined up against Ball State at Rynearson Stadium. It was for certain someone would come away with a win.
EMU took an early lead and held it until late in the third quarter but couldn’t hold on. BSU had two touchdowns and a safety in the third quarter to overcome a 14-point deficit and win 29-27.
“It felt like we won the Super Bowl,” said BSU tailback MiQuale Lewis, who had 26 carries for a school-record 301 yards and a touchdown.
His teammate, Cory Sykes, had 203 yards rushing and three touchdowns. BSU had 463 yards rushing and only 1-yard passing.
“I’m a coach that’s always thrown the ball for a lot of yards,” BSU coach Stan Parrish said. “This is a record. We threw for 1 yard, and we won.”
EMU (0-7, 0-4 MAC) scored on its opening drive when Kyle McMahon threw a 3-yard touchdown to Ben Thayer that capped an 11-play, 45-yard drive. It was the first time the team had led at any point in a game.
Other Mid-American Conference Scores
Central Michigan 24, Bowling Green 10
Northern Illinois 27, Miami (Ohio) 22
Kent State 20, Ohio 11
Western Michigan 34, Buffalo 31 (Overtime)
Syracuse 28, Akron 14
Temple 40, Buffalo 24
“I thought we started off good with a lot of emotion and intensity,” EMU coach Ron English said.
It didn’t take long for BSU (1-7, 1-3) to respond as Sykes had a 51-yard touchdown run, but the extra point was blocked to make it 7-6 with 4:52 to play in the first quarter.
The Eagles opened up the second quarter with a 20-yard field goal by Joe Carithers, but before this they were stopped on three straight rushing attempts at the BSU 1-yard line. EMU had been given a touchdown before the stand, but the officials reversed the call upon further review.
EMU then scored 10 straight. The first score came on a 12-yard run by Corey Welch, and the other was a 26-yard field goal by Carithers to make it 20-6 with 6:37 left in the half.
BSU answered with Lewis’ 48-yard touchdown run to make the halftime score 20-13.
“That touchdown that they scored right before the first half — that was big,” English said. “Now you give them momentum back into the game.”
EMU started the third quarter with a 10-yard scoring run by DeAnthony White to put it ahead 27-13.
After the score by EMU, BSU began to mount its comeback. Sykes punched in a 6-yard touchdown run that highlighted an 8-play, 93-yard drive in the third quarter.
“The O-line just did a great job today,” Sykes said. “They opened up a lot of big holes for us.”
With 5:33 left in the third quarter, defensive end Robert Eddins blocked an EMU punt attempt, which resulted in a safety. Punter Zach Johnson was injured on the play and did not return.
“Coach just told me to go hard,” Eddins said. “I just went as hard as I could, and he kept telling me, ‘Keep going as hard as you can and one will come.’ I wasn’t even expecting to block one.”
BSU went up for good late in the third quarter when Sykes scored his final touchdown on a 37-yard run.