CMU football falls to Ohio in last road game of the season

CMU’s Jesse Bauer runs towards the end goal, Tues day, Nov. 7th, at Western Michigan University.

Down 17 in the third quarter, Central Michigan football’s quarterback Jase Bauer delivered a shot to wide receiver Chris Parker for a 62-yard touchdown to put CMU within 10 of Ohio University. 

However, the Bobcats never let go of their lead, scoring a touchdown on the next drive and eventually handing the Chippewas their fourth-straight loss on the road, 34-20 on Wednesday. 

“Somehow I failed them (the players)," head coach Jim McElwain said. "We haven't gotten wins we needed to get. I'm pointing at me. I failed them. I haven't gotten us to win."

With the loss, CMU fell to 5-6 overall and 3-4 in Mid-American Conference play.

The Chippewas have struggled on the road throughout the season as they have yet to win a MAC game on the road. 

One bright spot for CMU was the return of linebacker Kyle Moretti who was out for two weeks after suffering an injury against Akron. Against the Bobcats, Moretti registered five total tackles along with 0.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup. 

Following a three and out from the CMU offense to open the game, Ohio drove down the field on a seven play, 41-yard drive that ended in a 39-yard field goal to give them a 3-0 lead. 

The CMU offense took the field trying to rebound from back-to-back three and out drives. However, the Bobcats shut the Chippewas down quickly as they came up with a pick six on the first play of the drive to extend the lead to 10 with just over six minutes remaining in the quarter. 

The Chippewas were looking for a spark after totaling 10 yards in their first four drives to open the game. Running back Myles Bailey provided just that as he opened the drive with a 48-yard run to put CMU in Ohio territory. 

Bailey had been out with an injury coming into the matchup, playing only one snap in the last three games. With limited action against the Bobcats, Bailey ended the game with 54 yards rushing on four attempts. 

Following the run from Bailey, quarterback Bert Emanuel Jr. kept the momentum going with a 23-yard rush to put CMU in the red zone. The excitement didn’t last long for CMU as it failed to convert on a 4th and 1 play, handing the ball right back to a hot Ohio offense. 

With the chance to go up three scores, Ohio marched down the field with three-straight passes over 20 yards. The drive was topped off by a 1-yard rushing touchdown by running back O’Shann Allison to put the Bobcats up 17-0 halfway through the second quarter. 

In desperate need for a score, redshirt sophomore quarterback Jase Bauer stepped up finding wide receiver Tyson Davis for a 50-yard touchdown to give the Chippewas their first score of the game and cut the deficit to 10. 

Bauer finished the game with 157 yards passing along with finding the endzone twice. 

With CMU down 17-7 heading into the second half, the Bobcats continued its momentum with a 16-yard touchdown run from quarterback Kurtis Rourke on their opening drive to extend the lead to 17. 

However, the Chippewas didn’t back down without a fight as Bauer delivered his second touchdown pass over 50 yards as he found Chris Parker for a 62-yard score to put CMU back within striking distance, 24-14. 

Following another touchdown from the Bobcats, CMU striked right back with an 8 play, 53-yard drive that ended on a 14-yard touchdown from running back Marion Lukes. A missed extra point from kicker Tristan Mattson put the Chippewas down 11 with 14 minutes left in the game. 

Lukes completed the game as CMU’s leading rusher with 75 yards and one touchdown. 

Down by 14 with under five minutes remaining in the game, Bauer dropped back for the pass where he fumbled the ball after facing pressure from the Ohio defense. The turnover secured the win for the Bobcats, 34-20. 

“At the end of the day, they beat us," McElwain said. "Got to get on the bus and figure out how we're going to get a win at home."

The Chippewas will return back to Kelly/Shorts Stadium for their final game of the regular season on Friday, Nov. 24 at noon against Toledo with bowl eligibility on the line.