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October 20, 2012
Enos: 'We have to play better'
MOUNT PLEASANT - Senior receiver Cody Wilson set a career-high with two touchdown catches and tied his season-high with 111 receiving yards, but the Central Michigan football fell on Homecoming Saturday to the Ball State Cardinals, 41-30.
The Chippewas (2-5, 0-3 MAC) gained virtually the same number of yards as the Cardinals (5-3, 3-2 MAC), 464-446, on 17 fewer plays and outpassed the Cardinals, 339-231, but only converted two of 10 third-down opportunities to stall potential scoring drives.
Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff threw for 339 yards on 23-38 passing with three touchdowns and a first-quarter interception, while Wilson recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season and extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 36 games, the third-longest active run in the country.
Junior running back Zurlon Tipton led the ground attack with 126 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while junior linebacker Shamari Benton led the defense with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Following a 38-yard field goal by senior kicker David Harman that was wide right on the Chippewas' first possession, Ball State struck first at the 7:22 mark of the first quarter with a six-yard rush by running back Barrington Scott, giving the Cardinals an early 7-0 lead.
Central Michigan appeared to regain momentum after a pass by BSU quarterback Keith Wenning was intercepted by senior safety Jahleel Addae to give the Chippewas a short field at the Ball State 40-yard line. The Chippewas advanced to the BSU 22, but a pass from senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff to Courtney Williams was bobbled and subsequently intercepted at the BSU 10.
The Chippewas began a drive at the 2:15 mark of the first quarter that concluded on the first play of the second quarter with sophomore tight end Ben McCord's first touchdown catch of his career on a 22-yard pass from senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff. The score put the Chippewas in a tie with the Cardinals with 14:55 remaining in the half.
McCord also recorded his first career reception earlier in the drive on an 11-yard first down catch.
Ball State answered back on the next drive, scoring a one-yard touchdown run with 12:13 remaining in the half to give the Cardinals a 14-7 advantage.
A 23-yard rush by junior running back Zurlon Tipton and a 15-yard BSU facemask penalty put senior kicker David Harman in position for a career-long 51-yard field goal to pull the Chippewas within three.
Junior Avery Cunningham forced a fumble on the following BSU drive, which was recovered by Benton at the CMU 44, but the Chippewas punted after just one first down.
The Cardinals capped the first-half scoring with a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Keith Wenning to receiver Willie Snead to take a 24-10 lead into the intermission.
Neither team scored again until midway through the third quarter when the Cardinals capitalized on a CMU fumble and scored a five-yard touchdown pass from Wenning to Fakes to take a 31-10 lead with 8:07 remaining in the game.
Tipton caught a pass for 29 yards and senior receiver Cody Wilson rushed for 12 yards and caught two passes for 17 on the following drive, including his first touchdown reception of the year on a five-yard catch from Radcliff at the 4:46 mark, putting the Chippewas within 14, 31-17.
The Cardinals scored on their next drive, finishing with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Wenning to Scott with 14:55 remaining for a 38-17 lead.
Radcliff connected with sophomore receiver Titus Davis, redshirt freshman Andrew Flory and junior fullback Tyler Lombardo for gains of 15, 26 and 26 yards, respectively, to set up a six-yard touchdown run by Tipton with 11:45 remaining. The Chippewas trailed 38-23 after the point after attempt was blocked.
Ball State added three more points with a 32-yard field goal by Steven Schott with 3:58 remaining to give the Cardinals a 41-23 lead.
Wilson made his second scoring grab of the day with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Radcliff with 1:30 remaining for the Chippewas final touchdown of the day to pull within 11, 41-30.
An onside kick attempt following the touchdown was recovered by Ball State.
The Chippewas host Akron for the third game of a four-game homestand Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Central Michigan NEWS