KALAMAZOO― The Central Michigan Chippewas headed into Western Michigan’s Waldo Stadium with a whole lot on the line Tuesday night.
Up for grabs were two different trophies, the rivalry’s Victory Cannon Trophy and the Michigan MAC Trophy, as both programs had previously beaten Eastern Michigan. For Central, the meaning of Tuesday’s game went well beyond hardware as they entered the matchup 5-4 on the season, a sixth win would make them bowl eligible.
Frankly, the 3-6 Broncos were their best shot at nabbing a sixth win, as their last two regular season games are against top-of-conference Ohio University and Toledo.
But the Chippewas would fall 38-28 Tuesday night, wiping away their hopes of a run at the MAC West division title.
In the first quarter, Broncos QB Hayden Wolff would find Austin Hence for the first score of the night. Jalen Buckley would be next in the endzone for the Broncos to put them up 14-0 in the second.
Marion Lukes would be the sole response for the Chippewas in the first half, and Western’s Anthony Sambucci would find one more for a halftime score of 21-7 Broncos.
But in the third quarter, things would start to click for the Chippewas.
QB Jase Bauer connected with tight end Mitchel Collier twice, and Tyson Davis for a career-high three passing TDs. Davis’ reception was also a career long reception for the wide receiver at 67 yards. The Chippewas entered the fourth quarter ahead 28-21.
In the final quarter, the wheels would fall off for the Chippewas. A fumble recovery, two touchdowns, a field goal, and an interception would seal the deal for the Broncos’ 38-28 win.
“Those are tough ones to lose,” said CMU head coach Jim McElwain. “Hats off to Lance [Taylor]. He’s a good young coach. He’s been doing a great job here. We gave ourselves some opportunities, just didn’t take advantage of them.”
Central Michigan falls to 1-4 against Western Michigan in McElwain’s tenure.
Kickoff for the Chippewas road game against Ohio University is set for 7 pm.