Chippewas offense flashes in 54-30 win over Kent State


Petoskey sophomore tight end Joel Wilson (left) and Detroit redshirt freshman running back Lew Nichols III celebrate a Central Michigan touchdown against Western Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at Waldo Stadium. 

Cannon shots echoed throughout Mt. Pleasant as Central Michigan routed Kent State, picking up a 54-30 win at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Wednesday.

The Chippewas improve to 6-4, while Kent State falls to 5-5 on the season. Both teams are 4-2 in the Mid-American Conference.

How it happened

The Chippewas opened the game on offense and pushed it to the Kent State 25-yard line. However, on third-and-10, the Golden Flashes sent the house at quarterback Daniel Richardson. Richardson tried to escape, but when the dust settled, an 11-yard sack forced a punt.

Kent State’s made quick work of the Chippewas defense on its first possession. Quarterback Dustin Crum capped off a 9-play drive with a 37-yard strike to tight end Kris Leach for a touchdown, putting the Golden Flashes ahead 7-0.

A three-and-out for the Chippewas gave the ball back to Kent State. The Golden Flashes put the ball in the hands of sophomore running back Marquez Cooper. He pounded the ball into the heart of the CMU defense, finishing off the 12-play drive with a 2-yard run for six, giving Kent State a 14-0 advantage.

A successful onside kick gave the Golden Flashes the ball back, but the CMU defense held tough. With the defensive stop, the tide began to turn in the home teams favor.

The Chippewas offense capitalized on the KSU fumble with three quick first downs before Nichols took control. The Detroit native carried the ball seven-consecutive times before finding the endzone to put CMU on the board 14-7.

Senior defensive linemen Troy Hairston jumped on a fumble from Crum, giving the ball back to the Chippewas at their own 48. 

With the home crowd roaring, CMU continued to overwhelm the Golden Flashes defense. Nichols put Kent State on its heels, and Richardson picked them apart on the back end. Richardson connected with junior wide receiver Dallas Dixon for an 18-yard score, drawing the Chippewas within one. Freshman kicker Marshall Meeder missed the extra point to keep KSU ahead by one.

The Chippewas added another score on their very next drive, as Richardson found his flow in the passing game. After completing four-straight passes, Richardson located sophomore tight end Joel Wilson in the end zone putting CMU up 19-14.

With time winding down in the first half, the Chippewas offense took the field, looking to widen the margin. Richardson only needed two plays to make it happen, as he found Dixon for a 19-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 12.

Kent State added a 32-yard field goal before the half bringing the score to 26-17.

CMU continued to outpace the Golden Flashes to start the second half. Richardson got the offense started completing back-to-back passes. Nichols took over once again, adding 34-yards to his total before punching it in again for a 33-17 CMU lead.

In less than a minute, Kent State responded as Crum placed it on wide receiver Dante Cephas for a 51-yard touchdown to pull within nine.

Built to survive a slugfest, CMU took to the skies as Richardson exploited the Golden Flashes secondary. Wilson reeled in his second touchdown of the game to put CMU up 16. 

The teams continued to trade scores as Crum engineered a 75-yard drive, resulting in a touchdown for Cooper. The score remained 40-30 following a missed 2-point conversion for Kent State.

The Chippewas’ offense kept firing on all cylinders in the fourth quarter, as the offensive line created gashes for Nichols. He rewarded their hard work by powering through a Kent State defender for his third score. 47-30 CMU.

Kent State’s defense kept the Chippewas in check, but a special team mistake cost the Golden flashes. CMU held onto a 24-point advantage, as Nichols iced the contest with his fourth rushing touchdown.

Key Performers

Nichols led the way for the Chippewas with 43 carries for 215 yards and four touchdowns.

Richardson ended the game with 268 yards and four touchdowns on 21-for-27 passing.

Dixon and Wilson each added two touchdown catches.

Key Stats

Kent State lost two fumbles. 

What’s Next

The Chippewas head to Muncie, Indiana, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, to face Ball State.