The University of Akron football team was able to defeat the Ball State Cardinals 35-25 on Saturday, with a huge second-half rally at Scheumann Stadium.
The Zips’ record now improves to 5-3 overall, and 3-1 in conference play. The Cardinals now fall to 4-4 (1-3) with the loss.
The Zips’ offense got back on track by putting up 529 yards of offense with starting quarterback Thomas Woodson coming back from an injury. Woodson was able to keep up his impressive play on the season, throwing for 338 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday after missing three games.
With running back Warren Ball missing his sixth consecutive game, Van Edwards Jr. led the Zips’ rushing attack, eclipsing 100 yards on just 16 carries. Morgan Manny was able to add 43 yards on the ground and also toss a 14-yard touchdown to Austin Wolf.
Jojo Natson, the Zips’ top playmaker outside, had seven receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. Both Jerome Lane and Austin Wolf were also able to gain over 90 receiving yards on the day with at least six catches and one touchdown apiece.
Ulysees Gilbert has become the heart and soul of the Zips defense, leading them in tackles once again with a career-high 17 tackles. Alvin Davis had an additional 15 tackles while Jordan George also recorded eight tackles and one interception.
The Cardinals’ offense was able to account for 443 yards of offense, giving the Zips some problems. Starting running back James Gilbert rushed for 133 yards and one touchdown.
Dual-threat quarterback Riley Neal was able to throw for 187 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while rushing for 76 yards on 13 carries. KeVonn Mabon led the Cardinals receivers with eight receptions for 88 yards.
The Zips were trailing 17-7 at halftime, but were able to score 21 consecutive points in the second half to take the lead. The offense was efficient, converting 8-12 on third down and 2-2 on fourth down. The Zips then were able to play keep away from Ball State by controlling the time of possession, holding the ball for 22 minutes in the second half.
It will be a short week for the Zips, as they travel to Buffalo on Thursday for a Mid-American Conference battle against the Bulls. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.