Holy Toledo! Zips still in first

“The University of Akron football team defeated the Toledo Rockets last night 47-30 at the Rubber Bowl for the team’s first home win of the season. The win puts UA (5-4, 3-2 Mid-American Conference) in a tie atop the MAC East standings with the Buffalo Bulls, who beat Miami 37-17 Tuesday.”

The University of Akron football team defeated the Toledo Rockets last night 47-30 at the Rubber Bowl for the team’s first home win of the season.

The win puts UA (5-4, 3-2 Mid-American Conference) in a tie atop the MAC East standings with the Buffalo Bulls, who beat Miami 37-17 Tuesday. The two teams will face-off next week in the final game to be played at the Rubber Bowl, the team’s historic home for the past 66 seasons.

Next week’s a huge opportunity for us, UA head coach J.D. Brookhart said.

I’m hoping for a special night. I’ve seen a closing of a stadium before. It’s one of the few times I’ve had a tear in my eye. We want to close it the right way.

UA scored the game’s first. 21 points of the game and withstood a strong comeback effort by the Rockets early in the third quarter to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.

After the Zips scored on their opening drive on a 23-yard touchdown pass from redshirt junior quarterback Chris Jacquemain to junior wide receiver Jeremy Bruce, UA quickly added to its advantage by recovering a block punt in the end zone on UT’s ensuing possession.

UT (2-7, 1-4 MAC) began the second half by scoring touchdowns on their first two drives of the half. The first score came on a 22-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Aaron Opelt to freshman wide receiver Kenny Stafford.

The extra-point attempt was blocked and returned 98 yards by Zips’ defensive lineman Shawn Lemon for a two-point conversion.

The second came on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Opelt to junior Stephen Williams.

The Zips then answered with their own methodical touchdown drive, capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jacquemain to junior wide receiver Dashan Miller.

UA then took command of the game for good when senior linebacker Doug Williams intercepted an Opelt pass on a third-down play on UT’s ensuing drive at the Rockets’ 45-yard line.

We knew we had to score, Kennedy said. The offense was all screaming at each other to go and score. We didn’t want another let down at home. We knew we had to score that drive.

The Zips capitalized on the good field position and extended their lead to 17 by scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by Kennedy to lead, 40-23.

I think a little resilience is what you’re seeing from the kids – an intent, Brookhart said. I know we’ll have to play a lot better next week.

Kennedy, who rushed for 154 yards and two scores on 30 carries, led the Zips offensively.

I don’t know how much longer we can keep giving him this many carries, but it’s really hard to take him out of the game, right now, Brookhart said. The guys up front are doing a great job. Dennis is getting the stats, and he’s doing a fine job, but the guys in front of him are doing really well.


” #1.1360739:1240699069.JPG:6D9O0506.JPG:Deryn Bowser (1) eyes the endzone while Jacquemain (11) watches. :Gary Kreuger / The Buchtelite”
“#1.1360738:1510821166.JPG:6D9O0266.JPG:Lester Richmond takes a knee in the end zone after intercepting Chris Jacquemain’s pass in the second quarter. :Gary Kreuger / The Buchtelite”
“#1.1360737:3765679622.JPG:6D9O0194.JPG:Dennis Kennedy, who rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns Wednesday in the Zips 47-30 win over Toledo at the Rubber Bowl, rushes through a whole in the first quarter.:Gary Kreuger / The Buchtelite”