The football went up into the sunlight as two players fought for position under it near the goal line.
Both players reached up and caught it simultaneously, continuing the fight for the ball. Tight end Ben McCord broke away with possession and reached the end zone, scoring six points.
In breaking away from his defender, the junior might have also pulled away as the primary tight end for Central Michigan next fall.
“It was good but it was more about just winning and having fun,” he said. “We have been working hard all spring, so it was nice to have fun in front of the fans and my family. Everything turned out well. It was a good day.”
McCord had five receptions, for 87 yards and three touchdowns.
After the annual spring football game Saturday, he credited his breakout day to the new addition of tight end coach Sherrone Moore.
“Coach Moore is new and he came from Louisville,” McCord said. “All spring we worked on releases and picking points to get off the line of scrimmage. We want to catch the ball and be a factor.”
Throwing all three touchdown passes was senior quarterback Cody Kater.
Kater witnessed the hard work McCord has put in this offseason and said he was glad it paid off.
“He is a big strong kid,” Kater said. “He worked his butt off in the offseason and he has definitely played well all spring. It showed today when he went out and had three touchdowns. It’s really nice to see it pay off. It looks like he is going to get stronger throughout the season.”
When McCord came to CMU, he wasn’t the intimidating force he is now on the field.
McCord showed up to CMU weighing 215 pounds. Now he weighs in at 250, something head coach Dan Enos is happy about.
Enos said he thinks McCord has the ability to be one of the best tight ends in the league.
“We always want to utilize those guys,” Enos said. “They have to get open though, they have to create opportunities for themselves. Last year they all caught passes. There wasn’t one guy that caught 50; they were all (at) about 10 (catches). This year, Ben has that type of ability where if he continues to block and mature, he can be one of the better tight ends in the league.”
McCord will create mismatches this season. Enos hopes he creates them in the red-zone.
“When you have a tight end that can jump and the body control that he does, you can try and get them on a smaller safety and have mismatches that create problems for the defense,” Enos said. “He would be the guy that we do it with.”
McCord also thinks he can have an impact on this team, but he isn’t settling for just the team.
He wants to have an impact in the Mid-American Conference.
“I just have to fight to keep my hand strength and work on and off the field,” he said.