A late touchdown from Brogan Roback leads to a win on senior day for the Eastern Michigan football team on Tuesday against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Rynearson Stadium.
The Eagles (7-5, 4-4) picked up their seventh win of the season over their in-state rival Central Michigan (6-6, 3-4) to win the most games in a season since the 1989 season. Redshirt junior Brogan Roback led the Eagles down the field for a game winning drive with 2:34 to go in the game. Roback then threw a touchdown pass which junior Sergio Bailey caught over an opposing defender.
“They (players) have set out a goal to go to and win a bowl game. We talked about how being bowl eligible wasn’t a guarantee. We just wanted to finish,” said third year coach Chris Creighton
The Eagles offense produced 538 yards of total offense on the day with 355 coming through the air and 183 on the ground.
Roback led the way for the Eagles as he threw for 355 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. While completing 70 percent of his passes, Roback distributed his 26 completions to nine different recievers. A key reception on fourth down kept the Eagles game winning drive alive.
“We’ve been in those situations before, but we like those situations,” said Roback on the game-winning drive. “We thrive in those moments”
With redshirt sophomore Ian Eriksen injured for EMU, fellow redshirt sophomore Blake Banham got the start for the Eagles. Banham ran for 120 yards and a touchdown while catching 53 yards on five receptions. Roback was second on the team in rushing with 48 yards.
Sergio Bailey led the way for the Eagles receivers with six catches for 104 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Redshirt freshman Dieuly Aristilde has continued his emergence in the second half of the season with 92 yards and a touchdown. Aristilde was the recipient of a key play on fourth down of the game-winning drive.
The Eastern Michigan defense held the Chippewa offense to 383 yards of total offense. Quarterback Cooper Rush was held to 256 passing yards and an interception. 125 of the passing yards went to wide receiver Corey Willis. The leading rusher for CMU was Devon Spalding who carried the ball 11 times for 85 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagle defense was led by redshirt sophomore Kyle Rachwal who had 13 tackles and a QB hurry. Junior Jason Beck and redshirt freshman Brody Hoying each contributed eight tackles a piece. Redshirt sophomore Jeremiah Harris sealed the game with an interception while also forcing a QB hurry and a pass defensing. Redshirt Senior Pat O’Conner added another sack to his impressive EMU career while adding three QB hurries.
The Eagles now wait to find out what bowl game they will be invited to as they did not qualify for the Mid-American Conference Championship on Friday, Dec. 2.
“Seven-and-five is a great record for us, compared the last season and the season before,” said Jeremiah Harris. “We’re just really glad that we kept pressing on no matter what. We faced adverse situations and here we are.”