SLIDESHOW: Football drops Homecoming game 41-30 to Ball State
The scoreboard read 446 offensive yards for Central Michigan and 464 for Ball State at the end of the game Saturday.
But in the points column, it was not that close as CMU lost to BSU 41-30, Saturday in front of 14,081 fans at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
“You’ve got to give credit to Ball State,” head coach Dan Enos said. “I think they capitalized on their opportunities, and I don’t think we did.”
Junior Zurlon Tipton rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown, and senior Ryan Radcliff threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns, but two Radcliff turnovers proved to be costly.
The Chippewas trailed 24-10 in the third quarter with the ball on the BSU 25-yard line, but Radcliff fumbled and defensive tackle Nathan Ollie recovered, carrying the ball to the CMU 41.
“It wasn’t a very smart play,” Enos said. “He should have gone to his number-two receiver and threw it to him. We felt he was open, and, at worst-case scenario, he should have thrown it away so we had a chance to go for it or kick a field goal.”
The Cardinals capitalized on the turnover, taking a 31-10 lead on a Keith Wenning touchdown pass to tight end Zane Fakes.
Wenning finished with 231 passing yards and three touchdowns. He added a rushing touchdown in the second quarter as well.
BSU extended its lead to 38-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter with Wenning, hitting a wide-open Barrington Scott for a seven-yard score. Scott also had a rushing touchdown and 99 yards on the ground.
Despite creating two turnovers Saturday, Enos said the defense must play better.
“We have a lot of young guys and this is a process,” Enos said. “You don’t just wave a magic wand and get real, real good overnight. We have a vision, we have a plan and we’re going to stick to it.”
The Chippewas added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was far little too late.
Sophomore defensive back Jarret Chapman left the game with a concussion, but Enos said he was fine after the game. Defensive back Kavon Frazier had to get stitches in his hand but came back to play.
CMU had a chance to take a lead on its first drive, but senior David Harman missed wide-right on a 38-yard field goal.
BSU took advantage, using an 11-play, 79-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Scott rushed up the middle for a six-yard score.
The Chippewas tied the game five seconds into the second quarter when Radcliff found tight end Ben McCord in the corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score. It was McCord’s first touchdown of his career.
“He’s had really good practices the past couple of weeks, and we just made a decision today to play him,” Enos said. “He’s going to be a good player.”
BSU regained the lead on the ensuing drive, capped off on a one-yard touchdown run by Wenning.
Harman pulled CMU within four on a career-high 51-yard field goal with 9:41 left in the first half.
But the Cardinals scored ten unanswered points to end the half and took a 24-10 lead into the locker room.
CMU will host Akron next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
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