Head coach Dan Enos told his players that they will always be remembered for plays made and missed opportunities against Western Michigan.
Redshirt freshman safety Tony Annese highlighted a group of unheralded players who were responsible for making plays in Central Michigan’s 27-22 win against its rival on Saturday at Waldo Stadium.
Annese, in his first career start, was responsible for a pick-six that put enough space between his team and the Broncos, making it 27-16 at the end of the third quarter.
He ran untouched for 34 yards until reaching the back of the end zone where he was brought down by teammate Brandon Greer in celebration of the team’s first defensive touchdown.
“I never think I’m going to get caught,” Annese said. “I was kind of looking behind me a little bit to see if anyone was around. But I didn’t hesitate.”
Before Annese extended the lead, junior tight end Mike Kinville gave the Chippewas back the lead in the third quarter, 20-16, with a three-yard catch for a touchdown, the first of his career.
Enos said that the Broncos were probably not ready for him to get the ball and receiver Titus Davis added that he was happy for his teammate, who is a “team-player.”
“He’s all for the team,” Davis said. “Whatever is asked of him, he’ll go out and do it. He’s been blocking his (butt) off all year. To see him get that touchdown is a good feeling.”
Running back Zurlon Tipton, though much-acclaimed, was an unexpected contributor of important plays as well, appearing in his first game since an injury against Ball State he had only five carries for eight-yards.
The senior ran the ball into the end zone twice in the first quarter to push CMU out to a 14-0 lead. He had 29 carries for 114 yards, the 10th 100-yard rushing game of his career.
“He’s a senior and wanted to play very badly,” Enos said. “He’s going to tell me every day in my office how much he wants to play.”