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MAC Championship Quest Falls Short

Dec. 4, 2009


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DETROIT, Mich. - A career-best night from Terrence McCrae, a MAC Championship record by Noah Keller and Taylor Price becoming an all-time record holder for receptions was not enough for Ohio as it fell 20-10 to Central Michigan in the Marathon MAC Championship Friday at Ford Field.

McCrae (Vanderbilt, Pa.) hauled in seven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, while Keller set a championship game record with 16 total tackles. Ohio's defense also turned in a nice showing, holding the Chippewas' high-octane offense to 14 points below their season average.

Taylor Price (Hilliard, Ohio) became Ohio's all-time leading receiver with the 145th reception of his career on the Bobcats' third play from scrimmage. With the catch, he surpassed Tom Compernolle (1983-86) for the top spot.

Senior safety Patrick Tafua (Midway City, Calif.) put a halt on CMU's early hopes for scoring with his third interception of the season just over six minutes into play. That marked the `Cats' 36th forced turnover of the season, tops in the nation.

The Chippewas put the first points of the game on the board with 5:22 left in the first quarter when Dan LeFevour found Cody Wilson for a score. CMU took advantage of an Ohio turnover just under four minutes later and converted on a 25-yard field goal from Andrew Aguila to go up 10-0 with 1:26 left in the first quarter.

Ohio came roaring back a short time later when Price hit McCrae for a 30-yard strike on a reverse option in the final seconds of the opening frame. It was the team-leading eighth touchdown grab of the season for McCrae and tied Todd Snyder (1969) for second place on the school's single-season touchdown receptions list. It was also the second passing touchdown of Price's career.

After a back-and-forth and nearly quiet second quarter, CMU got on the board again with a 13-play drive that ended with a nine-yard scoring grab from Bryan Anderson with 17 seconds left in the opening half to make it 17-7.

Coming off a long drive to open the third quarter, the Chippewas looked poised to find the endzone after getting the ball down to the one-yard line, but a huge stop from Shannon Ballard (Miami, Fla.) limited CMU to just a 19-yard field goal from Aguila to make the score 20-7.

Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) capped off a nine-play, 57-yard drive with a 36-yard field goal to cut the score to 20-10 with 8:55 left in the third quarter. It was the 20th field goal of the season for the First Team All-MAC performer, tying him with Michael Braunstein (2007) for first place on the single-season field goals list.

Ohio had opportunities to score in the fourth quarter, but CMU's defense was tough and managed to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard en route to the win.

Keller paced the Green and White defense with 16 stops, while Lee Renfro (Burnside, Ky.) recorded 12 tackles to surpass 100 tackles for the season. Gerald Moore (Mitchellville, Md.) picked up nine tackles. Theo Scott (Long Beach, Calif.) completed 10-of-23 passes for 138 yards and rushed for 36 yards on nine carries, while Chris Garrett (Utica, N.Y.) ran for 42 yards on eight carries. McCrae led all receivers with 141 yards.

An announcement concerning Ohio's bowl arrangements will be forthcoming in the next few days. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to OhioBobcats.com for more information.