Football season ends in tough defensive battle

By Joshua Glaze, [email protected]

The University of Akron football team’s season came to an end on Tuesday, Nov. 22 with a 9-3 loss against the Ohio Bobcats. The Zips ended the disappointing season with four consecutive losses, which ultimately will keep them out of a bowl game this season with a record of 5-7.

The Bobcats were able to prevail in a tough defensive game with both teams not reaching the end zone. Ohio will now play in the Mid-American Conference Championship against an undefeated Western Michigan football team on Friday night in Detroit.

The Zips’ offense was stagnant most of the game and just could not capitalize on the few opportunities it had by missing a field goal and turning the ball over on downs with 16 seconds left. Tyrell Goodman did not have much success at quarterback, only completing 44 percent of his passes for 131 yards.

The Zips’ rushing attack was also shut down, averaging only 2.9 yards per carry. Starting running back Manny Morgan rushed for 47 yards on just 8 carries.

Zips senior JoJo Natson made the biggest play from scrimmage with a 47-yard reception, and Jerome Lane hauled in four catches for 55 yards. Natson also returned three kickoffs for 48 yards. It was the first three kickoffs that Natson was able to return this season after taking two punt returns back for touchdowns earlier in the year.

Both defenses made it tough for offenses to sustain long drives with the Zips only completing 5-15 on third down and the Bobcats just 6-14.

Bobcats freshman quarterback Quinton Maxwell threw for 169 yards, completing 14 out of 25 attempts. Running back duo Maleek Irons and Dorian Brown combined for 101 yards on 25 carries, while senior Jordan Reid lead the Bobcats with five catches for 62 receiving yards.

The Zips had a chance to find the end zone with 22 seconds left and take the lead, but JoJo Natson failed to haul in the pass. This also hurt Miami University, who would have won the East Division and made it to the MAC Championship instead of Ohio if the Zips had won.

Akron, who had so much promise of a winning record early in the year, lost four consecutive conference games and will not be playing in a bowl game this year.