OXFORD, Ohio — With two offenses struggling to put points on the board, the fans watching the Central Michigan vs Miami (Ohio) game Saturday didn’t expect to see lightning strikes.
But they did. In a literal sense. It struck in the second quarter, causing a 49-minute delay. The delay came at a good time for CMU, which was struggling offensively running the ball.
“I just went in there stressed out and ate some gummy worms,” said running back Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore. “I was just in there trying to keep my mind fresh. My body was stiff but my mind was loose; I was ready to go.”
Other players, like running back Saylor Lavallii, took a rest.
“During the delay, it was like a premature halftime,” Lavallii said. “We sat down and went over what we ran, and what defensives they had. We were going over what had happened in the game so far. I always like to lay down and close my eyes, too.”
Wide receiver Titus Davis regrouped with the receiving corps and refocused.
“We were just trying to stay focused the best we can,” Davis said. “We tried to keep our composure and stay focused on the game. We tried not to get distracted by anything. We just wanted to come out and play harder.”
After the delay, the running backs put on a show rushing for 201 total yards. Lavallii set career highs with 25 carries and 151 rushing yards. The delay helped the offense, but it’s something that Shoemaker-Gilmore doesn’t want to go through again.
“I’ve never been a part of something like that,” Shoemaker-Gilmore said. “It was kind of slow. We were going over all the plays. Everybody was itching to get back out there. We had to stay loose. I know I don’t want to do that again.”
Head coach Dan Enos wanted to make the extra time count for his team.
“We just went in and went to work,” Enos said. “We got with our position groups and went over the plays with the defense, offense and special teams. We went over everything with our guys. Things we thought we were going to see, things we didn’t think we were going to see, we went over formations and coverages. We tried to use the time as efficiently as we could.”
Enos told the team that they had to come back out and finish strong.
“He just told us we have to come back out and finish,” Shoemaker-Gilmore said. “We went out there and pounded the ball. We woke up and put some points on the board.”
Lavallii was proud that the team overcame adversity in a season filled with it.
“We have to play the game,” Lavallii said. “We had to handle adversity and that was an adverse situation. We came out well and won the game.”
As for Enos, he chose Gatorade over the gummy worms.
“I didn’t eat any gummy worms, I can tell you that,” Enos said. “I was drinking Gatorade (and) trying to coach.”