CMU football drops homecoming heartbreaker

Detroit sophomore Lew Nichols III crosses the plane on a short run against Ball State, Saturday, Oct. 8, at Kelly/Shorts stadium.

After leading Ball State for three quarters, Central Michigan football found itself down by a point with 1:32 remaining in the game. 

However, the Chippewas final chance to secure a win on homecoming fell short as the ball careened off senior wide receiver Carlos Carriere’s hands on fourth down giving the Cardinals a 17-16 win on Saturday.

CMU is 1-5 on the season and 0-2 in the Mid-American Conference.

“They won the ball game so nothing against them but it's a game we should win,” said head coach Jim McElwain. “We gave ourselves some opportunities and then gave them the game. They did a good job of stopping us up front a little bit. And obviously, when you can't throw or catch it, no good things are gonna happen and still get an opportunity to go down and win it. But defensively we played well.”

Sophomore kicker Josh Rolston got the scoring started for the Chippewas with his first career field goal, nailing a 44-yarder in the first quarter. 

Looking to keep the momentum going, sophomore cornerback Donte Kent made his presence felt by forcing a fumble that gave CMU the ball on the Cardinals’ three yard-line. Two plays later sophomore running back Lew Nichols III punched it in from a yard out pushing the lead to 10. 

After adding a quick score at the end of the first half, BSU took advantage of a fumble by sophomore running back Myles Bailey and took its first lead of the game, 14-10. 

As time ticked down in the third, sophomore quarterback Daniel Richardson answered. He connected with Carriere, who dragged the pile into the end zone to put the Chippewas ahead 16-14. However, Rolston missed the extra point.

CMU held the lead entering the fourth, but the Cardinals kept chipping away and eventually set up kicker Ben VonGunten. He connected from 22-yards out, putting BSU ahead by one. 

The Chippewas tried to rally behind Richardson but fell short as the Cardinals secured a 17-16 win. 

Sophomore linebacker Kyle Moretti led CMU in total tackles with eight.

“Not too happy about it, but what's that gonna do?” Moretti said. “Can't really dwell on it. We have 100 percent trust in Coach (McElwain) and the coaching staff. We know what it takes to get on a course, we've done this before and I know as a team, we're gonna take the right steps and we aren't ever gonna give up.”

Richardson finished the day 19-for-40 through the air for 210 yards and one touchdown. 

Nichols ended with 97 rushing yards and a touchdown on 31 attempts. 

Carriere led the Chippewas’ receivers with six receptions for 70 yards and a score. Junior tight end Joel Wilson had six grabs for 52 yards.

CMU heads to Akron, Ohio on Oct. 15 for a match against Mid-American Conference foe Akron at noon.