MT. PLEASANT – The Central Michigan Chippewas held a 10-7 lead with under four minutes left in the game but collapsed in the final minutes of a 12-10 loss against rival Western Michigan on Wednesday night.
With 3:57 to go in the game and the Chippewas backed up on their own goal line, Bert Emanuel Jr. appeared to fumble in the end zone and Western Michigan recovered to take a 13-10 lead. The play was reviewed, however, and the officials determined that Emanuel Jr. was down before the fumble. He was still down in his own end zone, resulting in a safety to cut the CMU lead to 10-9 and giving Western Michigan the ball back.
The Broncos marched down the field and kicked a short field goal to take the 12-10 lead with 1:52 remaining.
Central Michigan had one last chance to drive down the field and win the game but Jase Bauer’s pass deep downfield was picked off by Western Michigan’s Keni-H Lovely, sealing the Broncos victory to bring the Victory Cannon back to Kalamazoo.
Central Michigan has not won at home in this rivalry series since 2010.
Adding to the crushing loss, Central Michigan will not finish bowl-eligible this season. The Chippewas came in with a 4-6 record and needed to win their last two game to finish bowl-eligible.
The Chippewas will end the regular season on the road against Eastern Michigan on Friday, Nov. 25 at noon.
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