Syracuse rolls past Central Michigan in the Carrier Dome

Sophomore running back Jonathan Ward watches the overtime game against Rhode Island on Aug. 31 in Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Syracuse scored 31-straight points to seal the win against the Central Michigan football team by a score of 41-17 on Saturday in the Carrier Dome.

The Chippewas gave up three turnovers in their first loss of the season, dropping their record to 2-1. CMU scored the first touchdown of the game, but Syracuse took over in the second half. 

"I'm disappointed, obviously," head coach John Bonamego said. "In the second half, you saw inability to finish drives and we gave up about three or four big plays, which really hurt us."

After a Syracuse field goal in the first quarter, DeAndre Dill stripped the ball from the Syracuse running back and Mitch Stanitzek recovered the fumble, offering CMU a chance to score. 

Only 44 seconds later, quarterback Shane Morris found Cameron Cole for a 56-yard receiving touchdown, taking the first lead of the game in Cole’s first career catch and touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, Cole popped a ball up in the air and allowed the Syracuse defense to run in a pick-six, tying the game before the first quarter was up.

Morris led a 11-play, 91-yard drive to start off the second quarter, which ended in Jonathan Ward’s 17-yard touchdown reception. 

Syracuse took over after CMU’s 91-yard drive. Dontae Strickland caught an 18-yard touchdown then reached the end zone on a 9-yard rush up the middle before halftime. Strickland finished with 2 touchdowns with 45 rushing yards.

Syracuse added two touchdowns and a field goal in the second half to pull away with the lead.

Romello Ross tried to add another CMU touchdown with about six minutes left in the game, but he fumbled on the one-yard line and a touchback was called. 

Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey finished with 279 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, he also added 105 rushing yards. 

"I think Eric Dungey is a great quarterback for that offense because of his ability to move his legs; we saw that late in the game," Bonamego said. "He’s a tremendous competitor and they’ve got a lot of good talented young receivers."

Morris led the offense with 279 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was replaced by Tony Poljan late in the fourth quarter. 

The Chippewas recorded their ninth interception of the year during today’s game that was filled with turnovers. There was a total of 14 penalties in today’s game. 

“We’ve been here before," defensive end Joe Ostman said. "This is a big difference from last year, but we have to stay together. Adversity is going to come.

"Whether we’re winning or we’re losing, we have to stay together as a team."

CMU returns to Kelly/Shorts stadium to face Miami (Ohio) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.