In its second game of the season, the Eastern Michigan University football team lost 28-21 to Miami University on Saturday.
The RedHawks wasted no time and scored the first touchdown in just seven plays. Thomas Merriweather made the 24-yard run that put EMU down 7-0 three minutes into the first quarter.
With just over 2:30 left to play, Sophomore quarterback Alex Gillett lateral passed the ball to senior tight end Josh LeDuc who threw the 71 yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Kinsman Thomas for the touchdown. The pass marked the first career attempt for LeDuc and the second 70 plus-yard reception for Thomas.
The RedHawks, led by quarterback Zac Dysert, marched back up the field to reach the twenty-four yard line in eight plays. Miami would score the next touchdown on a pass from Dysert to Merriweather to put them up 14-7 with 11:05 left in the first half.
The Eagles, who have lost 14 in a row, tied the game at 14 with just 28 seconds left in the second quarter. The touchdown came off of an 11-yard pass from Gillett to LeDuc.
The second half started with both teams having to punt when they were stopped before reaching the first down. The Eagles’ freshman punter Jay Karutz and the rest of Eastern’s special teams forced Miami to start play action inside the one yard line twice during the game.
EMU would then score the first touchdown of the half with six minutes left in the third quarter. Kinsman would receive a 40-yard pass from Gillett to match his game high for touchdown receptions from the 2009 season and give the Eagles a 21-14 edge.
The RedHawks then returned the kickoff to the 50-yard line and began play action in Eagle territory. Merriweather took the ball two minutes later into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown that tied the game at 21.
The game remained tied until six minutes into the fourth quarter when Merriweather found the end zone for the third time of the night. The 9-yard touchdown gave Miami a 28-21 edge over the Eagles.
EMU marched back up the field on numerous fourth down plays, getting inside the RedHawk’s 20-yard line. However, they could not get into the end zone for another touchdown and Miami ran the clock to win.
Coach Ron English says this game came down to simply getting the job done.
“We’re at the point where we’re playing harder and we’re more physical and we’re doing the things that you’re supposed to that way, but execution is an issue,” English said in a post-game conference.
The Eagles will suit up again at 4 p.m. Sept. 18 at to face instate rival Central Michigan at Rynerason Stadium.