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Big Plays Push Football Past Eastern Michigan

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Ohio senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Ohio senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Oct. 19, 2013

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Ypsilanti, Mich.- The Ohio University football team (5-2, 2-1 MAC) used a plethora of big plays to push past Eastern Michigan University (1-6, 0-3 MAC), 56-28, Saturday in a Mid-American Conference contest at Rynearson Stadium.

The victory marked Ohio's sixth consecutive win over Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats picked up their 20th win in their last 27 games dating back to the 2011 season.

Ninth-year head coach Frank Solich earned his 122nd career win and 64th at Ohio - moving him into a seventh-place tie with former Miami/Northern Illinois head coach Bill Mallory on the all-time MAC coaching wins list. The 56 points scored by the Bobcats marked the most ever in the Solich era.

Senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) threw for a career-high 375 yards and four touchdown passes. He improved to 23-10 since taking over as the Bobcats' starting quarterback in 2011.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Donte Foster (Guthrie, Okla.) matched his career high with 11 receptions to go along with 143 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt junior wide receiver Chase Cochran (Lebanon, Ohio) hauled in three passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt senior running back Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.) rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.

It was an emotional day in Ypsilanti as both squads mourned the tragic loss of Eastern Michigan junior wide receiver Demarius Reed.

The Eagles struck quickly, as junior wide receiver/running back Tyler Allen raced 90 yards to the end zone on the game's opening kickoff. Sophomore kicker Dylan Mulder tacked on the extra point to give Eastern Michigan a 7-0 advantage 13 seconds into the contest.

Ohio wasted little time in countering, though. Tettleton found Foster for a 44-yard gain to the Eastern Michigan 19, then connected with senior wide receiver Mario Dovell (Columbus, Ohio) four plays later on 3rd-and-5 for a 14-yard touchdown strike. An extra point by redshirt sophomore kicker Josiah Yazdani (Albany, Ohio) knotted the score at seven-all with 12:31 to play in the opening quarter.

Ohio's defense fed off the momentum swing, as junior defensive lineman Cameron McLeod (McClain, Miss.) forced a fumble by Eastern Michigan junior running back Ryan Brumfield. The ball was recovered by Ohio redshirt senior linebacker Keith Moore (Grove City, Ohio) at the Eastern Michigan 30, putting the Bobcats in business.

Tettleton picked up where he left off on the last drive, hitting senior tight end Troy Hill (New Kensington, Pa.) for a gain of nine. After picking up the first down on a rush for one yard, Blankenship took the next carry 11 yards to the Eastern Michigan 9. Four plays later on 3rd-and-goal, Tettleton fired a four-yard touchdown pass to redshirt senior wide receiver Matt Waters (Council Bluffs, Iowa). Yazdani's extra point made it 14-7 in favor of Ohio with 9:12 on the clock in the first quarter.

Ohio's defense overcame a roughing the punter penalty to force Eastern Michigan to punt again, which Ohio senior cornerback Travis Carrie (Antioch, Calif.) brought back a career-long 79 yards to the Eastern Michigan 8. Blankenship took the ensuing handoff on 1st-and-goal straight into the end zone, and Yazdani extended Ohio's lead to 21-7 courtesy of his successful extra point.

Both teams concluded the opening quarter by trading punts. Eastern Michigan then took over at their own 45 and moved 55 yards in eight plays and 3:37 and capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Benz to sophomore wide receiver Dustin Creel. Mulder's extra point shaved Ohio's advantage to 21-14 with 14:47 remaining in the first half.

The Bobcats and Eagles traded punts again. Ohio then drove the ball to the Eastern Michigan 10 with just over two minutes to play in the half, but Tettleton was picked off at the five by sophomore linebacker Ike Spearman to put an end to the threat.

The Eagles forced the Bobcats to punt on their first drive of the second half, then put together a seven-play, 99-yard drive, which ended in Benz hooking up with junior tight end Tyreese Russell for a 62-yard scoring strike. Mulder's extra point evened the score at 21-all with 8:19 to play in the third quarter.

After Eastern Michigan's defense forced Ohio to punt again, it appeared as though momentum had swung completely in favor of the Eagles. Junior running back Bronson Hill rumbled 64 yards to the Ohio 14, then picked up an extra seven yards when the Bobcats were penalized for a personal foul. After Hill picked up three more yards to give the Eagles the ball at the Ohio 4, momentum swung back in favor of the Bobcats. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Devin Bass (Omaha, Neb.) picked off Benz in the end zone to put an end to the Eastern Michigan scoring threat.

Ohio's offense made Eastern Michigan pay for its error on the ensuing play, as Tettleton hit Cochran in stride for an 80-yard touchdown. Yazdani's extra point put the Bobcats back up by seven with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter.

The Bobcats forced the Eagles to go three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Carey returned the punt 37 yards to the Eastern Michigan 42. Ohio, aided by a personal foul penalty and a roughing the passer penalty, moved the ball to the Eastern Michigan 3 and scored on a touchdown pass from Tettleton to Foster, and Yazdani made it a 35-21 contest with just over two minutes to play in the third thanks to his successful extra point attempt.

Ohio came up with yet another big defensive play on Eastern Michigan's next drive, as redshirt senior Xavier Hughes (Germantown, Md.) picked off Benz at the Ohio 36. Tettleton found Cochran again for a 41-yard gain to the Eastern Michigan 22, then Blankenship put an exclamation point on the drive on the next play by rumbling for his second touchdown of the day. Yazdani hit his sixth extra point to make it 42-21 with 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The Eagles countered with a five-play, 91-yard drive in which Hill rumbled for an 11-yard touchdown. Mulder's extra point cut Ohio's lead to 42-28 with 13:47 to play.

Ohio answered right back, though, as redshirt senior running back Ryan Boykin (Woodstock, Ga.) scored on a six-yard touchdown run to cap an eight-play, 60-yard drive.

The Bobcats made the score final when redshirt freshman quarterback JD Sprague (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored on a keeper from one-yard out and Yazdani nailed his eighth extra point with 1:54 on the clock.

Ohio returns to Peden Stadium next Saturday as it squares off with rival Miami in the Battle of the Bricks. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.