Chippewas slip by Zips, 14-6

Jerome Lane runs for the end zone against Central Michigan

GoZips.com

Jerome Lane runs for the end zone against Central Michigan

By Terry Rabbitts, Sports-editor@buchtelite.com

Despite an outstanding effort from the defense, The University of Akron football team dropped a close decision, 14-6, to Central Michigan University on Saturday in front of 18,981 Hall-ROO-ween fans.

The defense showed its teeth on the Chippewas’ first drive of the afternoon when Jatavis Brown sacked quarterback Cooper Rush for a nine-yard loss on a third down play, which forced a punt.

The Zips (1-3 MAC, 3-5) had an opportunity to break into the scoring column as they drove to the Central Michigan 13-yard line, but on third down Thomas Woodson was brought down in the backfield, forcing Akron to try a field goal.

Robert Stein was brought in to attempt a 48-yard field goal, but his kick sailed to the right of the goal posts and the score remained tied at zero.

Central Michigan (4-1, 5-4) finally broke the scoreless drought in the second quarter when Rush found his fullback Joe Bacci on a two-yard scoring play that gave the Chippewas a 7-0 lead.

Akron struck gold on the ensuing possession as Woodson found Jerome Lane on a 57-yard pass play to put the Zips on the scoreboard. A bad snap made the extra point fail as the Zips trailed 7-6. This was Stein’s first failure at an extra point this season.

Once again, the defense from both teams took control of the game and it stayed at 7-6 until halftime.

The second half started with Central Michigan pulling ahead 14-6 after a 14-yard pass play as Rush connected with Anthony Rice.

Opportunities for the Zips were rare, such as Jordan George recording his first career interception by picking off Rush on CMU’s next drive. Akron was able to get back-to-back first downs before punting to end the quarter.

Akron had one last chance to get the ball back with 45 seconds left on the clock. Woodson completed four passes, but was eventually intercepted, ending the comeback bid.

Woodson went 22-of-36 for 252 yards and a touchdown; Imani Davis has eight receptions for 86 yards; and Conor Hundley rushed for 34 yards to top the Zips.

The Zips defense held Rush to 226 yards passing, which is almost 100 yards less than his season average on the year. Brown and Darryl Monroe each had six tackles, while Rodney Coe added a pair of sacks.

The Zips take to the road for the next two weeks to face MAC opponents, next Saturday facing Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium at noon. The Minutemen dropped to 0-4 in the MAC and 1-7 overall after losing to Ball State University this past weekend. Kickoff is slated for noon.

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