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Chippewas battle hard, but succumb to Michigan State in season opener

EAST LANSING - The Michigan State Spartans put on a dominant performance on both sides of the ball in the second half, as they were able to pull away to defeat Central Michigan 31-7 in the season-opening game for both teams on Friday night.

The Chippewas and Spartans played to a virtual standstill in the first half. The game was tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter, after Michigan State was able to stop the Chippewas in a goal-to-go situation late in the first quarter.

Michigan State got on the board midway through the second quarter, on a 47-yard field goal by Jonathan Kim.


The Chippewas responded five minutes later, aided by a pair of facemask penalties against the Spartans, Central Michigan marched down the field and scored on a 12-yard pass from Bert Emanuel Jr. to Chris Parker to take a 7-3.

It took the Spartans just under a minute to re-take the lead, as they raced down the field, and scored with a 2-yard run by Nate Carter to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Spartans came out in the second half, and stymied the Chippewas’ offense, opening up the opportunity to break the game open. Jalen Berger scored on a 12-yard run late in the third quarter to make it a 17-7 game through three quarters of play.

Noah Kim tossed two touchdowns early in the quarter, including a highlight-reel catch by Tyrell Henry to make it 24-7, and to Maliq Carr to complete the scoring.


“When you play in these games depth is always an issue, and yet our guys didn’t back down,” Chippewa head coach Jim McElwain said. “That’s a good thing.”

Carter led the Spartans’ rushing attack with 113 yards on 18 carries, while Noah Kim was 18-for-31 for 279 yards and two touchdowns.

Emanuel Jr. led the Chippewas in both passing and rushing, going 11-for-17 for 87 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for a net of 41 yards on 17 carries. Kyle Moretti paced the Chippewas’ defense with 14 tackles.

The Spartan defense racked up ten tackles for loss against the Chippewa offense, sacking Emanuel Jr. three times. The Chippewas were only able to amass 96 yards through the air against the MSU defense on the evening.


Michigan State outgained the Chippewas 406-219 on the evening, despite CMU owning a 34:26 to 25:34 advantage in time of possession.

“We played with energy and I love those kids in that locker room, I love this team,” McElwain said. “We’ve got a rough schedule, and that’s OK. Let’s go have fun with it.”

Central Michigan (0-1) returns home to take on New Hampshire in the home opener on Saturday, September 9th at 1:30 p.m. Michigan State (1-0) hosts Richmond on the 9th at 3:30 p.m.

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